5.02.2008

war resister james burmeister needs your help

James Burmeister is a war resister who was living in Ottawa for almost a year, before surrendering to the US military in March. (For more background, I blogged about James here and here.)

* * * *

After working at Wal-Mart and fast-food restaurants in Eugene, Oregon, James joined the military. His recruiter told him he would build schools and support Iraqis who were establishing democracy.

In Iraq, James was assigned to a "small kill" team. Their duty was to place a fake camera on a pole with a sign labeling it US property, then shoot anyone who touched it. James, whose task was to provide perimeter security for the small-kill team, never got over his disgust for the tactic.

After he was wounded by a roadside bomb - suffering traumatic brain injury, hearing loss and facial wounds - the Army sent James to Germany to recover. When it was time to go back to Iraq, he went to Ottawa instead.

After 10 months in Canada, James turned himself into the military, and was put in the brig in Fort Knox, Kentucky. He was held in a heavy-security facility for almost a month.

After pressure from the public and James' congressperson, the Army transferred James to a more "casual" facility, where he is still being held. James continues to suffer from the effects of traumatic brain injury and severe PTSD. The Army's response: keep him medicated. It's not helping.

James' family believes the Army is preparing to send James to Germany for court martial and probable imprisonment, to reduce his contact with supporters and activists. This is contrary to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but it's a tactic that has been used against several war resisters, most notably Agustin Aguayo.

If you want to help, James' family requests you take the following actions.

Call Fort Knox, Kentucky. Request that PFC James Burmeister be released as soon as possible. Express concern for his medical condition (brain injury and PTSD). Demand that the Army make public its intentions regarding James's court martial.

Demand that James Burmeister be released with a medical discharge. James' military service should be properly recognized, so he can obtain veterans benefits to help pay for the medical treatments he requires. Calls can be directed to Major Pitcher (502.624.6247) and Seargent Tua (502.624.0068).

Write a letter of support to James' Congressman. Tell him you are concerned about James not getting the medical attention that he needs. Letters can be mailed to: The Honorable Peter DeFazio, 405 East 8th Avenue #2030, Eugene, OR 97401, USA. Fax: 541.465.6458. You can also call the Congressman's office at 541.465.6732.

* * * *

If this story interests you, and you can be in Toronto on May 21, join us for A Conversation with US War Resisters in Canada, moderated by CBC host Andy Barrie.

89 comments:

redsock said...

Their duty was to place a fake camera on a pole with a sign labeling it US property, then shoot anyone who touched it.

I'm confused. Does this activity fall under "fighting terrorism" or "bringing democracy"?

David Toronto said...

This is like the practice of having a "bait car" ripe for the stealing, then arresting the car thief.

Sounds like entrapment to me.

Moreover, it does not fight terrorism nor bring democracy. What it does is demonstrate that Americans can be underhand double-dealing people who should not be trusted.

What brains trust came up with that brilliant idea? Small wonder the conflict is continuing on particularly when the Americans are showing their true nature. More than 4000 dead attest to the senselessness of it all.

L-girl said...

David, I couldn't agree more, but I hope by this --

particularly when the Americans are showing their true nature

-- you meant the true nature of the US occupation of Iraq? Not the true nature of Americans.

The soldiers refusing to participate in these crimes are Americans, too. As am I, and everyone else in the US peace movement. Likewise, war crimes have been perpetrated in all wars by all countries that have fought wars.

M@ said...

This is like the practice of having a "bait car" ripe for the stealing, then arresting the car thief.

With a slight variation, in that the police don't arrest people for touching the bait car. Or kill people for touching the bait car.

It has nothing to do with nationality. It's utterly barbaric and inhumane. Not to Godwin the conversation or anything here, but I wouldn't be surprised if the "small kill" team members had similar psychological reactions to members of SS regiments or death camp guards in WWII.

L-girl said...

I am reading Naomi Wolf's "The End of America" and will soon be getting all Godwin on you all. The parallels are pervasive, clear and nauseating. And deeply frightening.

lisa said...

L-girl,

That was a really moving post. Oh, and Andy Barrie is excellent. He's got an interesting story, and has apparently battled his own demons. One of the smartest and most thoughtful radio hosts, imo. I know something about his history but didn't actually realize he was a CO.

L-girl said...

Thank you, Lisa. I'm very glad to hear this.

Andy Barrie also has Parkinson's, as you may know.

impudent strumpet said...

No, seriously, what was their goal - like what was the goal of people who thought this was a sensible idea? If their goal was to make an excuse to kill people, it seems like they'd get a pretty low rate of return with that ploy. If their goal was to catch people who might steal US army property, wouldn't it be more efficient to actually guard real US army property? (Especially since they had a whole team of people on this fake camera.) And wouldn't it have saved time/money to use a real camera as bait rather than going through all the trouble of constructing a fake one? I can even figure out a way to make it make sense if you come in from the point of view that whatever they were trying to achieve is a worthwhile goal.

Maybe that's the thing to publicize. Forget the moral and ethical and human decency aspects, just draw the American people's attention to the fact that whole teams of people are being sent to Iraq to guard a fake camera on a stick.

L-girl said...

I think the goal, such as it is, is to "get" "insurgents". Get as in kill. Insurgents as in anybody the US kills, therefore they were an insurgent.

In Winter Soldier (Vietnam edition), over and over the vets said all deaths were reported as Viet Cong ("the enemy"). How did we know they were VC? They were dead.

Forget the moral and ethical and human decency aspects, just draw the American people's attention to the fact that whole teams of people are being sent to Iraq to guard a fake camera on a stick.

While half the country goes without health care and people are still homeless from Katrina...

M@ said...

While half the country goes without health care and people are still homeless from Katrina...

I understand Bush asked for (yet) another $70 billion today. In a similar vein to above: how do we know congress will give it to him? Because he asked for it.

magnolia_2000 said...

at what point laura do you think americans have to be held accountable for their government? i guess i'm so angry at the american war machine that i really have trouble separating the people from their "beloved" army. i realize there are those fighting the good fight in the states but lets not kid ourselves its a very small number considering a population of over 300 million. i'm tired of giving the american people a pass. their indifference to what their military does in their name makes them culpable.

magnolia_2000 said...

i'm sorry if that came across as too angry but i am angry. i do understand its not fair to lump all americans into the same category but they did elect ( sorta ) these clowns. i'm also angry that our government isnt welcoming the war resisters to our country.

L-girl said...

i guess i'm so angry at the american war machine that i really have trouble separating the people from their "beloved" army.

Then that is something you should work on.

Where do you get beloved? What's that about?

I'm angry too. Remember, I was angry enough to pick up my whole life and start over in a different country.

But Americans have very little control over their government.

i realize there are those fighting the good fight in the states but lets not kid ourselves its a very small number considering a population of over 300 million.

Please don't say "let's not kid ourselves" as if yours is a universal point of view.

Most Americans are just struggling to survive. They're not fighting for anything but food, shelter and warmth.

Many others are fighting the good fight. Millions of them.

And yes, many approve of what they think is going on.

But the country is deeply divided. It's incorrect (and unfair) to act like the American public approves of the Iraq War.

i'm tired of giving the american people a pass. their indifference to what their military does in their name makes them culpable.

You're being very reductionist. Are you culpable for what the Harper government is doing? For Dion's response? Do you think all Canadians are culpable in Afghanistan?

Do you think if you were in the US you would know what to do to stop it?

i'm sorry if that came across as too angry but i am angry.

I'm angry too. No need to apologize on that score.

i do understand its not fair to lump all americans into the same category but they did elect ( sorta ) these clowns.

What does sorta elect mean? You can't sort of elect someone. I am not giving a free pass to everyone who actually did vote for Bush twice. But if you're telling me that the American public has control over the military decisions its govt makes, I'm telling you, you are dreaming.

Remember, the war resisters are Americans. I'm an American. Everyone who voted Democrat in 2006 because they wanted to stop the war is American. Lotta good it did.

magnolia_2000 said...

i shouldnt write when i'm angry and lets face it i'm not able to express my feelings as well as you do. i hope i didnt upset you. i have always thought that the american military is beloved in many parts of the country. look at how politicians are so afraid to speak out against the military. am i wrong in thinking that americans are more nationalistic and conservative than anywhere else in the western world? what i'm trying to say and not very well it seems is that there has to be at some level a basic difference in the values of the people of the united states than those in canada and europe. otherwise how do you explain how the u.s. is so different in so many ways ( universal health care, death penalty, reproductive rights, wars, guns and on and on ) than the rest of the western world. am i making any sense? i mean all of us in this world are struggling to make it yet we manage somehow to have more progressive societies. i respect that you moved to canada and i welcome all that do, i'm just trying to understand...and yes youre right i am thinking now of what you said about what i would do if i was an american, a single solitaire american. its a very difficult situation and i struggle with this. this is what happens when you think too much i suppose. sorry for rambling. its been a bad night.

magnolia_2000 said...

i've collected my thoughts a bit and what i'm trying to ask of you and others is this: at what point are citizens responsible for their government's actions? sometimes? never? is there such a thing as "collective guilt"? were the german people complicit in the holocaust? how about south african whites and apartheid? at what point do the responsibilities of the individual connect with the responsiblities of society? i dont have the answers.

virgomonkey said...

I'm American. Count me in as another angry American. :)

I never voted for Bush - ever. We, in the US, have an electoral voting system. It is VERY unfair.

If this helps any, Bush's approval rating, again in the US, is at an all time low of 28%! Yes. Most of us here LOATHE him. To pieces! I listen to Republican talk radio (for amusement lol) and even Republicans have abandoned him! Now, THAT says A LOT.

Then, we have what's going in with China and the Tibetans... I can never say that I'm angry at all the Chinese for that. I actually feel sorry for them. :( Never mad at the Germans for Nazism back then either.

Anyway, to conclude, here in the US, we DON'T have a true Democracy. I call it a "faux Democracy".

virgomonkey said...

Magnolia, How about this: Those who vote conservatively are responsible for what conservatism follows, BUT some don't even know the extent of the potential conservatism that will follow. If you vote liberal, then NO you aren't responsible for whatever conservatism follows. And to lump the liberals into the same bag with the conservatives - I believe is unfair. This is why I don't believe in "collective guilt".

Here's what collective guilt feels like. Imagine someone robbing a store in your town. YOU get blamed for it (because you just so happen to 'look' like the person who stole) and wind up in jail while the one who committed the crime gets away with it. I experience collective guilt every time I'm online. While I have done nothing wrong, I am blamed for Iraq, Bush, Canada's gas prices, Global Warming, this, that, and the other thing. I'm so sick of this.

The media is ALSO very unfair all around. It is starting to leak out all over how the media is brainwashing EU, Canada, Oz, NZ ...everyone to be Anti-American. Media is also biased over here as well. Republicans are CONSTANTLY complaining that our media is corruptly left-wing-biased. The media just tells you what it wants YOU to know. So do text books in school. You never really learn what's behind all of these stories until you become an adult and research and begin to think for yourself.

So, ... I think it's always best to blame the individual. Yes, I know it's hard because they're faceless. But, what else can we do? Or -- collective guilt -- if must be done as a release, then it's best to keep it to a private forum, rather than a public forum so as not to make people like ME the "bad guy".

I found the below on the internet. They aren't my words, however, I find it rings so true to me - on collective guilt:

"Collective guilt is a fundamentally flawed concept. Germans were not collectively guilty for Hitler’s crimes in any way that humanity in general wasn’t guilty for in producing such a monster.

Races, families, tribes, nations, bridge clubs or gangs do not commit crimes. Individuals commit crimes. Individuals can cooperate in the commission of crimes, but each are individually guilty only for their own specific role.

These evils arise when we classify people according to convenient labels and collectivize them. Lepine and Hitler both collectivized their respective enemies, and this is their first step in dehumanizing them.

It’s easier to hit or kill a stereotype, a label, a proxy for a group or a faceless mass of people than it is an individual human being. Collectivization is the first step in dehumanization. The next step is the atrocity."

magnolia_2000 said...

you are so right in that collectively guilting americans for their government is the same thing as stereotyping an ethnic group. i like the quote about collectivization being the first step in dehumaniziation. its quite a bit to think about. i really do need to get my anti-americanism under control although it has never boiled over into individual interaction with americans. i like alot of americans and i like alot of american culture, i just have a big problem with their government.

btw i think laura will be very happy we're having an active discussion while she's napping!

L-girl said...

Hi Magnolia and Viromonkey. Yes, I love when people have discussions at this blog when I'm not around! (That's why I won't use comment moderation.)

I will read and reply at more length later today. I just wanted to say, Magnolia, you didn't upset me at all, no worries. Your opinions are welcome here whether or not I share them.

A few things:

1 - Re collective guilt and American responsibility, my thinking has shifted on this, from discussions with wmtc readers.

I used to defend Americans almost as victims, the way the North Koreans or the Chinese (eg) cannot be held responsible for their govt's actions.

I still do, but not to the same extent. I have to realize that there are huge numbers of Americans who do blindly support whatever their govt does, who don't question it and don't want others to.

I always say that there's a huge part of US culture that is very authoritarian. I would say that, then not make the connection between that and responsibility.

So I think there is responsbility. But only to an extent. I disagree that the liberal/ progressive forces are a drop in the bucket, or that the majority of Americans agree with what's happening.

2 - At the same time, I completely disagree with Virgomonkey's portrayal of all this anti-Americanism. Criticism of US policy is not anti-Americanism. I was "warned" over and over how Canadians were anti-American. I have never seen it, neither has my partner. Anti US policy? Yes, but so am I. Against me because I am American? No, never.

3 - i have always thought that the american military is beloved in many parts of the country. look at how politicians are so afraid to speak out against the military.

Not to be like "nyah nyah", but I see the same in Canada. The Canadian military forces are held at extremely high esteem, criticism of them is very rare, politicians who want troop withdrawal from Afghanistan always have to make a big show of "we support the troops".

Obviously the US is more militaristic than Canada. There's little doubt there, it's one of the things I can't stand about the US and one of many reasons I am happier in Canada.

But I don't think the American people think in terms of "beloved" military. The military is the best job option for a huge segment of the population (no coincidence there). But despite the militarized economy, I don't think most Americans think very much about whether they love the military or not.

M@ said...

is there such a thing as "collective guilt"? were the german people complicit in the holocaust?

If you're interested in this question, I very highly recommend an essay by Dwight MacDonald called "The Responsibility of Peoples", written shortly before the end of WWII (when the concentration camps were a new discovery). A large library might have one of MacDonald's essay collections, and this is his most famous one.

MacDonald makes the point that states are too large and complex to assign blame to their members -- if everyone in a nation is responsible, then no one is responsible; blame is meaningless at that level. (In the same way, this practice of calling innocent dead "heroes" is intellectually dishonest; we can bet that, given the choice, most civilian "heroes" would gladly give up that title in exchange for their lives.)

In context, his argument was that the German people as a whole should not be punished for Nazi atrocities. In a wider sense, it speaks to the fact that we are responsible for our own actions and have a moral responsibility to object or refuse to act -- much like the current resisters have done in the USA.

(Woo! Got it back on topic! I bet no one saw this train getting back on the rails! :) )

L-girl said...

Yeah M@, driving the topic train! :>)

But more importantly, thank you the tip on MacDonald and the thoughts on collective guilt. I've heard of this, but never read it. Now is the perfect time to hunt it down.

issachar said...

I suppose I'm a little late to this party, but I don't really get to read blogs much during the week. You've had an interesting discussion though. I wish I'd been here earlier...


With apologies to M@ for veering off topic again, there seems to be some consensus that the American voters don't really control their government. I just don't see how that can be true. It seems a bit of a cop-out on the part of Americans who don't agree with their government. Sure, you didn't vote for them, but they're not beyond the control of the voters as a whole.

The quirks of the electoral college system aside, the US government is elected democratically. Ultimately the party with the most votes wins. In fact, your congressman are have a lot more freedom to vote against their party line then our MP's do. The US, isn't a "faux democracy" at all.

The government in the states was elected democratically and if American voters collectively wanted to change it, they could. If the government does not change, then American voters either did not sufficiently want it to in the last election, or they disagreed too much on how it should be change.

One other factor is that many American voters vote the way they do because one issue is more important to them than others. I'll give you an example. Say you're an American who opposes abortion rights and also opposes the war in Iraq. Who do you vote for? You have to make a difficult choice, but that doesn't mean America isn't a democracy, it just means that Americans are deciding which issue is more important to them when they vote. And in my experience, I've found that culture-war issues seem to be most important to Republicans and Democrats alike. Am I wrong?

I think the quote that Virgomonkey gave on collective guilt is bang-on though. I don't think I could agree more.

kim_in_to said...

To Virgomonkey:

The media is ALSO very unfair all around. It is starting to leak out all over how the media is brainwashing EU, Canada, Oz, NZ ...everyone to be Anti-American.

I haven't heard any "leaks".

I was born and grew up here. I have friends and relatives in the US. While I think there is a lot of anti-American sentiment here - and rightly so, when you look at the bully that the US is - the anger from those I know is always directed at the US government, not the American public.

There are a lot of stereotypes of the "ugly American" that are perpetuated all over the world. I'm certainly familiar with them; I think most Canadians are. (How can we not be when we live in the shadow of a country with ten times our population?) But living in a multi-cultural society, more and more people are learning about the dangers of relying on stereotypes. When you've been victimized yourself on the basis of a stereotype, you're less likely to do it to others.

Speaking of which, Virgomonkey, I understand your upset at being victimized unfairly. But looking at your blog, I see the same thing. As a Canadian reading your postings, all I see is an unfair image of Canadians created using examples of people and comments which are not representative of me or anyone I know. We were not cheering when the World Trade Center towers collapsed. Sure, you can find many examples of human scum in Canada. You think we can't do the same with the US?

(Side note: after seeing evidence of Islamophobia on your site, I will not be visiting it again.)

Media is also biased over here as well. Republicans are CONSTANTLY complaining that our media is corruptly left-wing-biased. The media just tells you what it wants YOU to know. So do text books in school. You never really learn what's behind all of these stories until you become an adult and research and begin to think for yourself.

There is plenty of evidence that American media (obviously Fox, but CNN as well) are right-wing-biased. To a lesser extent, the same is true for Canadian media.

kim_in_to said...

is there such a thing as "collective guilt"? were the german people complicit in the holocaust?

Perhaps a better article to address the concept of guilt w.r.t the nazis and the holocaust is a social psychology article by Philip Meyer, entitled, If Hitler asked you to electrocute a stranger, would you? Probably. (Published in Readings in Social Psychology, edited by Dennis Krebs, 1982.)

This is an account of a study in which Stanley Milgram, a noted psychologist, thought he was going to prove that the Germans were somehow different, and that was what led to the holocaust. In proving this, the rest of us would all be able to feel better about ourselves, as people who would never commit such atrocities.

What he found instead was quite disturbing - that most people will hurt and even kill others, as long as they are under orders and think their superiors will be liable for blame, and not themselves.

BTW, this is beig proven all over again in Iraq, Haiti, and elsewhere.

M@ said...

With apologies to M@ for veering off topic again

No no no -- please don't get the impression that I was trying to get other people to stay on topic. Believe me, keeping myself on topic is work enough. My comments were a result of my delight that I had actually strayed back onto the topic -- completely inadvertently, I readily admit.

L-girl said...

Issachar, you are not late to the thread (I posted it yesterday), but you are behind on your facts.

First, what you call "the quirks of the electoral college system" means that the votes up to 49% of the people in every US state are simply thrown away. When anywhere from a third to a half of citizens' votes are simply discarded, that is not a quirk. Nor is it a democracy.

Second, it is taken as fact on this blog that the last two presidential elections were in fact stolen. You can click on the wmtc category "election fraud" for me info, if you choose. But whether or not you do read more and whether or not you agree, I consider that a point of fact. There is a mountain of evidence to speak to it, and only blind denial on the other side.

Say you're an American who opposes abortion rights and also opposes the war in Iraq. Who do you vote for? You have to make a difficult choice

No, in fact you don't. Because...

Third, no matter who you vote for, the war will not end. In 2006, the Democrats won control of Congress with the very clear mandate of troop withdrawal. We see how that worked out.

Because election campaigns are funded by the same corporations that profit from the war, once elected, congresspeople serve those corporate interests, rather than the interests of the voters.

That is another way the US is not a democracy. I do not call it a "faux democracy", as Virgomonkey does. I call it a dictatorship. Because without a fair voting system, what makes it a democracy?

That is a rhetorical question.

L-girl said...

While I think there is a lot of anti-American sentiment here - and rightly so, when you look at the bully that the US is - the anger from those I know is always directed at the US government, not the American public.

My experience is the same, as is that of many other Americans in Canada who read this blog.

There are a lot of stereotypes of the "ugly American" that are perpetuated all over the world.

Often with good reason.

Speaking of which, Virgomonkey, I understand your upset at being victimized unfairly. But looking at your blog, I see the same thing. As a Canadian reading your postings, all I see is an unfair image of Canadians created using examples of people and comments which are not representative of me or anyone I know. We were not cheering when the World Trade Center towers collapsed. Sure, you can find many examples of human scum in Canada. You think we can't do the same with the US?

I hadn't looked at Virgomonkey's blog yet. Canadians cheering on 9/11? Geez, I've received so much warmth and sympathy from Canadians about 9/11. When I say I'm from NYC, people always ask if I was there, their eyes well up as they talk about it, they extend sympathy - even treat me like a hero, which is completely undeserved. I can't imagine what VM is talking about in that regard.

If he or she is talking about liberal media bias, then it's a hopeless cause. Anyone who still believes that hoax is not worth talking to.

L-girl said...

This is an account of a study in which Stanley Milgram, a noted psychologist, thought he was going to prove that the Germans were somehow different, and that was what led to the holocaust. ... What he found instead was quite disturbing - that most people will hurt and even kill others, as long as they are under orders and think their superiors will be liable for blame, and not themselves.

The Milgram Experiment and the Zimbardo Stanford Prison Experiment are both very instructive.

Better than both of those, though, is Chris Hedges' real life examples from wars all over the world, atrocities committed in every one of them, by people who were once ordinary folks. I highly recommend reading "War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning". You can find extensive quotes of it here under the "what I'm reading category".

redsock said...

...there seems to be some consensus that the American voters don't really control their government. I just don't see how that can be true. ... Sure, you didn't vote for them, but they're not beyond the control of the voters as a whole.

L covered most of what I would say.

I cannot believe -- literally, cannot believe -- than anyone believes the American voters can control their government. You've got to be kidding me. No one who bothers to look at the news for even a few minutes a day could believe such a thing.

(I spent about 20 minutes typing that paragraph. Typing, deleting, typing ... because I am so stunned at the idea, I'm unable to form a response.)

A majority of Americans elected Al Gore in 2000 and a majority of Americans elected John Kerry in 2004. Indeed, there is more evidence of the latter than the former.

issachar said...

I'm glad to see I'm not too late. :)

As I said L-girl, the electoral college system has quirks. One can win the electoral college while losing the popular vote, but that's only a factor when the election is particularly close as it was when George Bush was elected. The electoral college only applies to Presidential elections in any case and the US President has less executive power that our Prime Minister does.

By comparison the Canadian system, (which I also maintain is democratic), it's possible to win a majority government with far less than 50% of the popular vote and in fact it happens all the time. I'm not sure if any of our governments have received a 50% mandate in my lifetime.


With regards to my "abortion rights vs. ending the war" example perhaps my example was a poor choice, but unless the Democrat & Republican stances are identical on all issues there will be a pair of issues that would leave a voter having to choose which one was more important to them.


Redsock...

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Americans can control their government. Now whether or not they actually choose to do so is an entirely different question...

As for the "stolen" election, as an outside observer I just don't think the case for that views is very strong. In any event, even if we assume that you are 100% correct in your assessment of the Florida debacle the Presidency isn't exactly the entire US government. The US Congress & Senate aren't exactly powerless. I don't think there is sufficient grounds to say that the US is a dictatorship as L-girl does.

issachar said...

With regards to Virgomonkey's blog...

I've read about four words at this point and looked at the pictures, but did anyone else notice the Ron Paul link in the sidebar below the "Political" heading?

Wasn't he pretty much the only candidate who unreservedly said the war in Iraq should end? (I thought he was, but I could be wrong).

L-girl said...

As I said L-girl, the electoral college system has quirks.

And as I said... calling the electoral college "quirky" is like calling the Bush junta just an ordinary conservative government.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Americans can control their government. Now whether or not they actually choose to do so is an entirely different question...

Issachar, you are either not reading what Redsock and I wrote, or purposely ignoring it, or you live in some alternate reality than we do. Probably the latter.

As I said, on this blog it is treated as fact that the US democracy exists in name only. The people of the US cannot control their government. Evidence of that is abundant - although I don't see it as my job to introduce you to it all.

As for the "stolen" election, as an outside observer I just don't think the case for that views is very strong.

An outside observer in what sense? Whether you be outside or inside the US, if you look at the evidence, only one conclusion can be drawn.

If you don't think the case is very strong, you have not truly examined the evidence.

In any event, even if we assume that you are 100% correct in your assessment of the Florida debacle

"The Florida debacle" is only part of it.

The Presidency isn't exactly the entire US government.

That is less true than ever. The US executive now has enormous and unprecedented power. It has superceded the Supreme Court, it has superceded Congress, it has erased many of the original checks and balances written in the Constitution.

The US Congress & Senate aren't exactly powerless.

Did you read my third point, above?

I don't think there is sufficient grounds to say that the US is a dictatorship as L-girl does.

Of course you don't. You look at the superficial, cosmetic overlay of democracy, the veneer that remains, and you think you are seeing a real democracy. The new authoritarianism is very shrewd and very effective that way.

L-girl said...

Wasn't he pretty much the only candidate who unreservedly said the war in Iraq should end? (I thought he was, but I could be wrong).

You are wrong. Dennis Kucinich. Other smaller candidates, too.

issachar said...

You are wrong. Dennis Kucinich. Other smaller candidates, too.

Thanks for the correction. :)

M@ said...

You are wrong. Dennis Kucinich. Other smaller candidates, too.

Mike Gravel for example. He also explicitly opposed military action against Syria and Iran and torture, and was for universal health care, abortion rights, same-sex marriage and LGBT rights, and working against global warming.

He and Kucinich were the only candidates I could imagine voting for, and I probably would have written one of their names in on my ballot if I were an American.

L-girl said...

Mike Gravel for example.

I was going to write Gravel, but I honestly couldn't remember if he supported full troop withdrawal.

It is also a symptom of the bankrupt democracy that neither of these men could mount a serious campaign. Not just that a majority of voters would not vote for them - that is a different question - but that they could not take their ideas to the voters.

It takes hundreds of millions of corporate dollars to get elected, so no one who opposes corporate power can even be part of the process.

L-girl said...

[Issachar, answering your recent question, see on the sidebar "who links to wmtc". Anyone who links to me, I link to. Feel free. Thanks for asking.]

issachar said...

Perhaps I just like the word "quirk".

The US executive now has enormous and unprecedented power.
And it still has less than the Canadian executive branch. (Plus, the Canadian executive branch also has effective control of the legislative branch whenever we have a majority government).
We're still not a dictatorship.

I'm an outside observer in the sense that I'm not an American citizen and I see pros and cons to any of the current candidates being elected. I like and dislike parts of both party's platforms. I just don't have as much of an emotional commitment to US elections as you do. It's not that I don't care, I just don't care as much.

I am reading what you and Redsock wrote and I really do understand where you're coming from. I just put the "blame" if you will back on American voters as a group. They have power which they do not exercise.

Ron Paul ran on a platform that included ending the war. As you pointed out, Dennis Kucinich did as well. Nothing prevented Americans from making those men the Republican & Democrat nominees other than the fact that McCain, Clinton & Obama got more votes in the primaries.

M@ said...

It is also a symptom of the bankrupt democracy that neither of these men could mount a serious campaign.

Absolutely. I have great admiration for people who worked to get these guys out there, knowing what an immense mountain they were climbing. It's extremely distressing that they never had a ghost of a chance.

L-girl said...

And it still has less than the Canadian executive branch.

Not so. You really don't know what has gone on down there. You are assuming that the system is functioning as written. It is not.

I'm an outside observer in the sense that I'm not an American citizen and I see pros and cons to any of the current candidates being elected. I like and dislike parts of both party's platforms. I just don't have as much of an emotional commitment to US elections as you do. It's not that I don't care, I just don't care as much.

I think you're not listening, or not reading, or something.

I don't give a shit who is elected. I'm not voting because I think the system is so corrupt. It's not that I have an emotional commitment to US elections. I have a deep commitment to democracy and the US doesn't have one anymore!

Nothing prevented Americans from making those men the Republican & Democrat nominees other than the fact that McCain, Clinton & Obama got more votes in the primaries.

???????

You are living in a dreamworld!! Nothing prevented????

Which means this can only be a frustrating and unproductive discussion. And so I will not participate in it anymore.

M@ said...

the Canadian executive branch also has effective control of the legislative branch whenever we have a majority government

I'm not sure I agree at all with this. For starters, the Canadian government does not have an executive branch, or indeed any branches at all. There are the two houses, the constitution, and the head of state.

The Prime Minister cannot be separated from what you're calling the legislative branch (the HoC), and if I'm not mistaken, the only power the PM has outside the HoC are appointments. The entirety of the PM's powers stem from the legislature, and the laws that are already on the books.

In addition, PMs can lose their power with a single vote in parliament, even if they hold a majority government. It would be unlikely, yes, but it is certainly possible for MPs to revolt against their leader and bring the government down.

redsock said...

They have power which they do not exercise.

Wrong. Dead wrong. 100% wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth. Wrong.

Did I mention that you are wrong?

...

All the American people can do is vote. But those votes are increasingly manipulated or simply ignored. So ... if the voting system cannot be trusted, if it can be manipulated to achieve a desired result, what do you suggest the American people do?

redsock said...

And it still has less than the Canadian executive branch. ... We're still not a dictatorship.

Read up on Bush's "signing statements". They allow him to ignore any law that is on the books and do whatever he wants instead.

If George W. Bush woke up tomorrow and decided that Laura's mother was a terrorist, he could have her arrested, locked in jail for the rest of her life, with absolutely no access to her family, her lawyer, or anyone outside her jail cell, and never charge her with a crime. If he desired, he could send her to a foreign country and have her tortured for a day, a week, a year.

This is legal in the United States.

issachar said...

Wrong. Dead wrong. 100% wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth. Wrong. Did I mention that you are wrong?

No I'm pretty sure you were agreeing with me. :P


L-girl,
When I said that nothing prevented Americans from making those men the Republican & Democrat nominees, perhaps I should have been more specific. I'm not saying that McCain, Clinton & Obama didn't have the advantage of better advertising, being promoted by the media, having powerful connections in their respective parties etc. Of course those give a huge advantage. I'm simply saying that any American could have voted for Ron Paul in the primaries and if enough had, then you would have had a "troops out" Republican candidate.

And by not voting at all, you are perpetuating the problem. You should vote. Even if you write in a candidate. If enough people did that, there would be an impact. Imagine 30% of voters writing in a candidate. Now that would be a big deal! Nothing prevents that.


Not voting because you the odds of you winning are unlikely is like saying you shouldn't vote NDP because they won't form the government.

redsock said...

Now that would be a big deal! Nothing prevents that.

And nothing prevented me when we lived in US from standing on a street corner speaking my mind and having my opinions heard by someone who tells her friend, who tells his friend, who emails his friends, and before long having the support of a majority of Americans who then whisk me into the White House.

Nothing actually prevents that. It could happen. But most people understand that certain things stand very little chance of happening.

...

And by not voting at all, you are perpetuating the problem. You should vote. Even if you write in a candidate.

We believe the system is broken beyond repair.

For me, voting would be a statement that I believe, in whatever small way, that the process is legitimate on some level.

I do not feel that way, so I cannot take part.

L-girl said...

Perpetuating the problem? You clearly don't understanding why I'm not voting.

I have voted for third-party candidates many times in the US. I'm not not voting because there's no one to vote for. I'm not voting because it's like having a trial in a kangaroo court.

I will proudly vote NDP in Canada.

L-girl said...

Issachar, I'm about to put up a new post that explains a bit more where I'm coming from, in someone else's words. I was going to post it tomorrow, but I'll put it up now instead.

issachar said...

the Canadian government does not have an executive branch, or indeed any branches at all

Not true. We have executive, legislative & judicial branches. These describe the function of government even if they happen to be composed of some of the same people.

The judicial branch is our judiciary, the legislative branch is the commons and the senate while the executive branch is cabinet. Technically executive power rests with the monarch and the Privy Council, and Cabinet is a committee of the Privy Council, but effectively executive power is exercised by Cabinet and since the Prime Minister has exclusive right to appoint the Cabinet, executive power is effectively exercised by the Prime Minister. Executive power is never exercised by the commons.

Executive powers are also greater in Canada than most Canadians realize. Declaring & waging war, spending money etc. can all be done without the approval of the legislative. The recent vote on the Afghanistan was a mere courtesy on the part of Cabinet. (Or rather a political strategy on the part of Stephen Harper).

Prime Minister's can lose their power with a vote of non-confidence, but as you say this is unlikely. The power that the leader of the party exercises over backbenchers makes this so. This power far exceeds any power the President has over members of his party.

Actually the fact that a vote of non-confidence topples the government actually limits the power of MP's. Since all money votes are confidence motions, MP's cannot vote against an expenditure of money without toppling the government. This is a restriction on legislative power.

redsock said...

If there was a raffle and you knew positively that it was rigged (and had been clearly rigged in the past) and that there was absolutely, positively 0% chance in the entire universe that you would win, would you make a special trip to the raffle center to fill out an entry form?

redsock said...

Recently, a couple of co-workers asked me about Obama and Clinton and what I thought of the whole thing.

I said pretty much what L and I have said here -- about the process and why I don't bother to follow it.

Finally, I likened someone seriously following the US campaigns to someone who follows professional wrestling as if the storylines and the fights were 100% real.

issachar said...

Redsock, the US election isn't a raffle. Losing raffle tickets aren't counted. Votes for losing candidates are.

issachar said...

I'm about to put up a new post that explains a bit more where I'm coming from

Thanks. I look forward to reading it.

issachar said...

And nothing prevented me when we lived in US from standing on a street corner speaking my mind and having my opinions heard by someone who tells her friend, who tells his friend, who emails his friends, and before long having the support of a majority of Americans who then whisk me into the White House.

Nothing actually prevents that. It could happen.


Exactly. It could happen. The fact that it doesn't happen is because the American voters don't actually do it.

Which brings me back to putting the "blame" for the lack of change on the American voter.

L-girl said...

Redsock, the US election isn't a raffle. Losing raffle tickets aren't counted. Votes for losing candidates are.

Incorrect.

The votes are not actually counted at all.

Earlier you said that you had not seen enough evidence of the rigged presidential elections. If you click on the category "election fraud" on this blog, and follow many of the links, you will see some of the small mountain of evidence that goes to this point.

If you refuse to look at that evidence, and insist it does not exist, you should not be discussing it.

Notice I'm not arguing with you about Canada's system of government. I don't have a good enough grasp of the facts to do that. Yet without much knowledge of the state of the US election system, you are arguing with people who have spent a lot of time reading and thinking about it.

You should realize that you are doing the internet equivalent of putting your hands over your ears and repeating na-na-na-na-na.

If you want to educate yourself, do so. If you don't, spare us this annoying circular waste of time.

L-girl said...

Exactly. It could happen. The fact that it doesn't happen is because the American voters don't actually do it.

Which brings me back to putting the "blame" for the lack of change on the American voter.


Please stop purposely misconstruing what was written. It's very annoying.

Don't take a snippet out of context and pounce on it as if your point has been proven.

I would have thought that was beneath you, but I guess I was wrong.

virgomonkey said...

"2 - At the same time, I completely disagree with Virgomonkey's portrayal of all this anti-Americanism. Criticism of US policy is not anti-Americanism."

I didn't say that was Anti-Americanism. You can read the glossary on my blog to find out. There is a BIG misconception about what Anti-Americanism is. The Canadians, themselves, have formed an alliance on Facebook to try and stop Anti-Americanism in Canada.

kim_in_to said...

If George W. Bush woke up tomorrow and decided that Laura's mother was a terrorist, he could have her arrested, locked in jail for the rest of her life, with absolutely no access to her family, her lawyer, or anyone outside her jail cell, and never charge her with a crime. If he desired, he could send her to a foreign country and have her tortured for a day, a week, a year.

This is legal in the United States.


These types of things are happening in Canada (which is why I became an activist). They're not well-publicized, because only Muslims are being victimized, so the media assumes guilt and passes this assumption along to the general public.

kim_in_to said...

I wonder if anyone's doing anything about American anti-Canadianism.

L-girl said...

These types of things are happening in Canada (which is why I became an activist). They're not well-publicized, because only Muslims are being victimized, so the media assumes guilt and passes this assumption along to the general public.

I actually think they are very well publicized in Canada. I read about them all the time in the most mainstream of places.

I don't excuse it in Canada any more than in the US. However, because in the US the laws have actually been changed to accommodate it, and because no one knows about it - and because the US is more militaristic, and has a longer reach - I think it's substantially different, and worse, in the US.

Not to the people most effected, of course. I mean for its broader implications.

But yes, we have to right the ship here, too.

L-girl said...

The Canadians, themselves, have formed an alliance on Facebook to try and stop Anti-Americanism in Canada.

Since this is my own blog, I feel free to say this is among the stupidest things I've ever heard of.

I wonder who are "The Canadians, themselves"??

L-girl said...

I wonder if anyone's doing anything about American anti-Canadianism.

It's amazing to see an American try to portray Americans as victims of some sort of global conspiracy of hatred.

virgomonkey said...

"there seems to be some consensus that the American voters don't really control their government. I just don't see how that can be true. It seems a bit of a cop-out on the part of Americans who don't agree with their government. Sure, you didn't vote for them, but they're not beyond the control of the voters as a whole."

So, does this mean I'm responsible for my neighbor voting for Bush --- even though I voted for Kerry? How about all the Canadians being responsible for allowing Harper to win the election and then having your troops invade Afghanistan? That's not fair either. I'm not about to apologize to another country for Bush getting elected. If we had a true democracy here, than the popular vote would win. I just think it's easier to blame every citizen in the US, rather just blaming those who voted for Bush. Also Bush went to war ILLEGALLY. There are some decent Republicans out there that had no clue beforehand that Bush would go THAT FAR! This is also why some Republicans are abandoning him.

"The government in the states was elected democratically and if American voters collectively wanted to change it, they could."

Can you please tell me how I can "change" the vote? I am sincerely interested on how I can run Bush out of office. My guess is that it's just as hard for you to run an official out of your office too, no?

"And in my experience, I've found that culture-war issues seem to be most important to Republicans and Democrats alike. Am I wrong?"

You're wrong. Congress voted for the war and there are democrats in congress that supported the war. You are confusing congress with the people, and that's entirely unfair. I don't know where you got this information from? Most people right now in the US are disgusted with the war. It's because of assumptions like this... no wonder so many people all over hate us....

"I haven't heard any "leaks".

Check out the link section in my blog. Your own media is passing that around. It is no more or less bias than the American media.

"Speaking of which, Virgomonkey, I understand your upset at being victimized unfairly. But looking at your blog, I see the same thing. As a Canadian reading your postings, all I see is an unfair image of Canadians created using examples of people and comments which are not representative of me or anyone I know. We were not cheering when the World Trade Center towers collapsed. Sure, you can find many examples of human scum in Canada. You think we can't do the same with the US?"

I made the distinction very clear in my blog all over the place in my about me section, my faq, my disclaimer, my posts and coming from Canadians themselves. My distinction being that there IS a difference from being a Canadian and an Anti-American Canadian. I literally go out of my way to make that clear.

"(Side note: after seeing evidence of Islamophobia on your site, I will not be visiting it again.)"

I have no clue what you're talking about? I, again, made the distinction VERY clear between Islam and Islamic Fundamentalists. How is that not clear? Who said that I hated Islamics?

"There is plenty of evidence that American media (obviously Fox, but CNN as well) are right-wing-biased. To a lesser extent, the same is true for Canadian media."

As I have mentioned earlier every media has bias. Fox is for Republicans - CNN for liberals - plus, we also have ABC, MSNBC, and several others sources. I never once did claim that American media wasn't biased. What I did say was that Republicans are constantly complaining about our media being biased toward the LEFT. There are a lot of sources out there that will say the same thing.

redsock said...

It's amazing to see an American try to portray Americans as victims of some sort of global conspiracy of hatred.

It's like white men with money running around crying: "Whaaaahhh, we only control 98.4% of America. Why is everyone picking on us? Whhhaaaaahhh!"

redsock said...

Most people right now in the US are disgusted with the war.

As I have said before, I think most Americans are disgusted with the war because the US is losing.

If things were going great -- fewer American deaths, only Iraqis being murdered -- support for the war would be high.

The American people as a whole are not against the war, in my opinion. They are against doing badly in the war.

virgomonkey said...

L-girl, the link to the Canadian alliance is on my blog. But I'll leave the link here.

I find it a bit unfair that you think that I'm imagining things? 99% of my sources are from Canadians. They are also from Canadian written press. And my experiences are valid too.

And again, there's a difference between a Canadian and a Canadian Anti-American. My entire blog is devoted to Anti-Americanism - not Canadians. Just like there's a difference between an American and an Anti-[...] American.

Please visit that group on Facebook. And can we have this dialogue on my blog instead?

virgomonkey said...

As I have said before, I think most Americans are disgusted with the war because the US is losing.


How can you be so sure that is why? I remember clearly the backlash against the war back in 2003. There were protests all over the place. Unfortunately, those protests were only televised on US TV. I remember many Americans being angry about this. To be fair, we could just be split right down the middle as nobody can really ever count who was for or against from the beginning. Also I associate myself with predominantly liberal friends too - which is why I saw more of a disgust back in 2003.

issachar said...

L-girl, I'm sorry I'm obviously not communicating very well. (Or I might be not understanding very well, as you say).

I am well aware of that whole craptastic vote counting debacle with hanging chads, uncounted ballots and arguments over recounts. I assume that this is common knowledge so I don't explicitly mention it. I am not aware that there is any case for this problem being widespread in the wider US elections. Nor do I believe that negates the value of participating in an election. I am aware of how the US system works, both in theory and practice. I still believe that if you want change there would be great value in getting a sizable portion of the electorate to write in a third party or independent candidate. One major flaw of the US system is that it is a two party system. That has benefits, but I think the drawbacks are more serious.


Respectfully, I think it's unfair to say that I'm purposefully misconstruing what was written. I think it's accurate to say that Redsock believes that his scenario could happen, but is in reality astronomically unlikely. (Redsock, please tell me if that's not accurate). If so, I agree. I am then disagreeing with him when I place the "blame" for not making it more likely on the American voter. I don't see how I've misconstrued what Redsock said.

virgomonkey said...

It's amazing to see an American try to portray Americans as victims of some sort of global conspiracy of hatred.

Can you tell me why then that a lot of people say the whole world hate us. What about (as you can see on my blog too) all of these people from Europe and Canada are creating blogs protesting Anti-Americanism? Also, why is it that Canadians and Americans have to wear a maple leaf on their backpack when they travel abroad?

L-Girl, I understand that you're not feeling AA (Anti-Americanism) and I respect that. But you have to understand that I am proud to be an American despite the flaws and ill doings of the US. I think for that very difference is the reason why some Americans feel AA and some don't. Everyone's experiences are going to be different.

I really wish that you wouldn't accuse me of making up things in my head. If you were to read my faq, about me, and the glossary in my blog, you'd probably get a clearer picture of what my agenda is.

And how can I say that ALL (insert group) are prejudiced if just as many people are creating alliances against the AA movement.

And I don't think the whole world is against Americans either. I think most of the heat is coming from western countries.

L-girl said...

It's like white men with money running around crying: "Whaaaahhh, we only control 98.4% of America. Why is everyone picking on us? Whhhaaaaahhh!"

I was going to say almost the same thing.

L-girl said...

How can you be so sure that is why?

Past experience.

Most Americans supported the first Persian Gulf war because it was over quickly and very few American lives were lost. No matter that tens of thousands of Iraqis were killed, many of them buried alive by bulldozers in the desert.

I grew up learning that 58,000 people were killed in the Vietnam War. 58,000! That's the number of Americans killed. I didn't learn that more than 1 million Vietnamese were killed until I was an adult reading Howard Zinn.

Those are just two examples. I've got a million of 'em.

This is not to say there is not a peace movement in the US. There is, and I'm forever reminding people of it. But the majority of Americans are not interested or not able to participate in that.

issachar said...

Virgomonkey,

So, does this mean I'm responsible for my neighbor voting for Bush --- even though I voted for Kerry?

No Virgomonkey it does not mean that. In fact I said that I thought "the quote [you] gave on collective guilt is bang-on". All it means is that American voters don't get to throw up their hands and say that their government is out of their control.

If you want to get Bush out of office, you wait until his term his up. If you want to change the US constitution to allow for recalls, then you've got a much larger and quite possibly all but impossible battle but there is actually a clear mechanism to amend the US constitution.

As for running an official out of my office, I'd start with asking what he thought he was doing with his feet on my desk. :P

L-girl said...

I hope it's clear that I agree with Virgomonkey that Americans cannot magically change the govt they've been given. They didn't vote for them and can't get rid of them.

I just find it ridiculous and laughable to hear Americans complain about anti-Americanism.

(Enough with the links, we know where to find you if we're interested.)

issachar said...

Virgomonkey,

With regards to my belief that culture wars are more important than the Iraq war to Republicans & Democrats, I did mean the people, rather than just the politicians.

Of course this is just my impression, but if I think that culture-war issues like abortion rights, gay marriage and teaching evolution in schools are more "important" issues to the American public.

Not that this is a good thing, but how many anti-war progressives would vote for a candidate who pledged immediate 100% troop withdrawal but also pledged to ban gay marriage, mandate equal time for intelligent design in science class and/or restrict abortion rights?

When it comes right down to it, I think that the culture-war issues are more "core" to American voters. (And not just progressives. I use them only as an example).

L-girl said...

I am well aware of that whole craptastic vote counting debacle with hanging chads, uncounted ballots and arguments over recounts.

You could not be "well aware" of election fraud, or you would stop talking about Florida and you wouldn't mention hanging chads.

I am not aware that there is any case for this problem being widespread in the wider US elections.

Then become aware of it. Read up. Educate yourself. It's much, much worse than this, and much more pervasive.

As tempting as it is, I don't have the time to re-write this blog by providing links for you. That's why I suggested clicking on the "election fraud" category on this blog, and following links.

Try Wasserman and Fitrakis. Robert Kennedy Jr in Rolling Stone. Bev Harris and Black Box Voting. Clive Thompson's NY Times Magazine story. The Princeton statistics expert who shows that it's beyond possibility that the 2004 election was not fixed. Etc. etc. etc.

Respectfully, I think it's unfair to say that I'm purposefully misconstruing what was written.

Respectfully, I can think of no other explanation. But if that's not the case, I apologize.

I think it's accurate to say that Redsock believes that his scenario could happen, but is in reality astronomically unlikely. (Redsock, please tell me if that's not accurate). If so, I agree. I am then disagreeing with him when I place the "blame" for not making it more likely on the American voter. I don't see how I've misconstrued what Redsock said.

It is beyond astronomically impossible for a Mike Gravel or a Dennis Kucinich to get elected. It is actually, physically, literally impossible.

I am not saying that the majority of Americans would vote for Kucinich. I'm telling you that most Americans didn't even know he was running.

L-girl said...

As I have mentioned earlier every media has bias. Fox is for Republicans - CNN for liberals

CNN FOR LIBERALS?????????????????

Virgomonkey, you have just revealed yourself to be a moron. Or should I see a MORAN.

L-girl said...

Please visit that group on Facebook. And can we have this dialogue on my blog instead?

Why would I do that? Do you not see that I think your campaign is ridiculous? Spend your time however you choose to, but I have more pressing matters than fighting this perceived anti-Americanism - or fighting the people who are fighting it.

L-girl said...

Unfortunately, those protests were only televised on US TV.

Wrong. They were not televised on US TV. CNN wasn't there. CBC wasn't there. NBC wasn't there. ABC wasn't there. The print media buried the story. I remember all too well.

redsock said...

CNN FOR LIBERALS?????????????????

Wow.

Only people who know absolutely nothing -- NOTHING! -- about the US media would even think of saying this.

Wow.

...

And L is correct. There was a HUGE FUSS in the progressive community about how there was a virtually media blackout of the protests in the US.

I think CNN finally reported on them 6 or 7 hours after the fact. .. That must have been right before the liberal network aired Chomsky's and Zinn's nightly talk show!

L-girl said...

I really wish that you wouldn't accuse me of making up things in my head.

I haven't done so. You perceive anti-Americanism, as distinct from anti-US policy, so be it. I don't, and I find your campaign against it laughable.

But you have to understand that I am proud to be an American despite the flaws and ill doings of the US.

You are a proud American? I am not. I am an ashamed American. Every American should be ashamed of their country right now.

If you are still proud to be an American - a mere accident of birth, nothing you have earned - perhaps you're earning some of that anti- sentiment.

L-girl said...

If you want to get Bush out of office, you wait until his term his up.

He was not elected. Not once. He has been a figurehead for a coup for nearly 8 years and was not elected. EVER.

L-girl said...

CBC wasn't there

Typo, I meant CBS.

M@ said...

Typo, I meant CBS.

Was CBC there? I'm not sure but I'd be glad to know if they were.

issachar said...

You could not be "well aware" of election fraud

I am gradually working my way through your past writing and I find them interesting. So far I'm not finding anything that surprising or anything to convince me that there's any sort of election rigging. I mentioned Florida, the chads and the recounts because those are the most commonly listed grievances. I also follow the ill-advised love affair the United States seems to be having with electronic voting.

I am under no delusions that the American system is perfect. I simply find your assessment that it is a dictatorship a little over the top. The fact that John Kerry and Al Gore don't say that the election was rigged is telling as well.

virgomonkey said...

I just find it ridiculous and laughable to hear Americans complain about anti-Americanism.

How so? Is it wrong to defend against some of the misconceptions made about the US and it's people?

Thanks for belittling me. This is the last thing I'd expect coming out of someone that writes so intelligently on her blog. You had even defended misconceptions on your blog as well. You know yourself that AA exists.

Once again.... I am not against those who are against the US government. I'm against the sweeping generalizations made of the American people. And I don't find myself "laughable" for defending it. But go ahead and keep putting words in my mouth.

(Enough with the links, we know where to find you if we're interested.)

Hmm.... looks like you don't want to see anything substantiated that might actually back up my arguments. I had no idea that this was a one-sided blog.

Bye.......

L-girl said...

I am gradually working my way through your past writing and I find them interesting.

Again, to be 100% clear, I'm not suggesting there's anything in MY writing that will prove anything. However, I link to many stories that, taken in context with the dozens more I have read, do.

So far I'm not finding anything that surprising or anything to convince me that there's any sort of election rigging.

If that is so, then you are either not following the links and reading them, or your mind is closed.

I simply find your assessment that it is a dictatorship a little over the top.

When a group of unelected people rule a country, that's what it is generally called.

But you didn't just "simply find...". You said it's a democracy, it's under the control of the voters. And it ain't.

The fact that John Kerry and Al Gore don't say that the election was rigged is telling as well.

It is telling indeed. But what is it telling of? Surely you don't take those men's unwillingness to commit poliitcal suicide as proof that the system is not fixed?

Both Kerry and Gore, once out of the race, admitted that they know they actually won, but felt it was impolitic to speak up.

Perhaps you are not aware of that.

L-girl said...

Thanks for belittling me.

You're welcome! If you're saying goodbye, I see it was successful. I figured I could just ridicule you until you left.

* * * *

I looked briefly at Virgomonkey's blog. Two items of many to note.

It's not fair to criticize the US for having the death penalty, because many states don't have it. (Although it could be outlawed throughout the US, as it once was, and as every other supposedly civilized nation as done.)

It's not fair to say Canada has free health care, because it's not really free, we pay with our taxes! Meanwhile, every person legally living in Canada has access to health care while millions of Americans do not, but don't criticize the US about it, because Canada's system is really free!

[gag]

Goodbye and good riddance. Anyone who thinks CNN is for liberals is too stupid to hang out here.

L-girl said...

I had no idea that this was a one-sided blog.

Accusations of one-sidedness, the last refuge of the beaten.

I'm under no obligation to host your opinions. This blog isn't about your issues. That's what your own blog is for.

You came to this blog to advertise your little campaign - first posting to a post more than 3 years old - but you didn't find any takers. That's how it goes.

L-girl said...

I love how this person comes around to my blog, first posts on a post from 3 years ago, then (after I pointed that out), goes completely off-topic on a another post, gives us a bunch of links advertising his or her own blog and issues, then when he/she gets a bad reception, accuses *us* of being close-minded and storms off in a huff!

As if s/he was invited here in the first place, or came around commenting on something I wrote!

L-girl said...

Note to "support the wifes":

You have been posting the same comment over and over. Each time you post it, I delete it. I will continue to do so.

While I respect your point of view, my blog is not the proper venue for it.

Please stop posting at this blog. Thank you.