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Looks Like The Shit And The Fan Are About To Have A Rendezvous
"Turd blossom," also known as Karl Rove, has a former executive assistant, Susan Ralston, who's seeking prosecutional immunity before testifying about administration ties to my pen pal, Jack Abramoff. Charles Babbington writes for AP:

At her May 10 deposition, Waxman's memo said, Ralston said she would invoke her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if asked about Abramoff's contacts with White House officials, including Rove. However, her lawyer, Bradford Berenson, told the committee that if Ralston is granted immunity from prosecution, she would testify about Abramoff's relationships with White House officials and "the use by White House officials of political e-mail accounts" at the Republican National Committee, the memo said.

Ralston has "useful information about both of those subjects," Berenson told the committee, and "she is more than willing to provide it to the committee" under "a grant of immunity," the memo said.

The use of RNC e-mail accounts by Rove and other White House officials has been questioned in the ongoing inquiry in the administration's firing of several federal prosecutors.

Is it possible that just a teeny bit of the shit this administration has been shoveling will stick to them? What's your guess? Will voters not accept more of this in the next election? Could they even, say (gasp!), elect a Democrat? Will Newt, who I believe will run, be free of the stench of this administration? Will he and Thompson eventually be the last Republicans standing? Predictions?!

Posted by aalkon at May 23, 2007 9:27 AM

Comments

I sure hope that something comes out of all of these investigations. The current administration has apparently done everything in its power to turn the entire executive branch into an extension of the Republican party (the permanent Republican majority strategy). This is flatly bad for our government, and I'm equally concerned that should the next administration be Democratic, they would be inclined to do the same thing in retaliation. For everybody to believe our government is fair, some parts of it (e.g., Justice) need to be considered equally inept by members of all parties.

I'm not super-impressed with anybody either party has to offer for the next election, but after eight years of Bush's ineptitude, the advantage seems to be on the Democrats side. Whether or not they can capitalize on it is a good question (my advice: nobody hire Bob Shrum!).

Gingrich would certainly be a break with the current administration, is either the best or second-best off-the-cuff speaker in American politics (right there with Bill Clinton), and would be entertaining, but I think he's too tainted by his own past to be able to persuade many people who don't already like him. Hillary has the same problem - opinions about her are calcified and unlikely to change. I don't like her very much, so I hope she doesn't get past the primaries.

I don't know much about Thompson, but he seems to get NRO's K-Lo all worked up, which is a forceful anti-recommendation to me. Basically, anybody favored by the virignal/sexually abstinent/ theocratic wing of the Republican party won't ever get my vote (this means Romney, Huckabee, etc., too). I won't vote for anyone with strong ties to the present administration either, and suspect a lot of people feel this way.

Predictions: If Rudy gets past the Republican primaries, he probably wins; McCain has a good shot, too. I think anybody else is a loser for the Republicans.

-Final note: I liked Fred Thompson's little rejoinder to Michael Moore that was going around the interwebs last week. But I still wouldn't vote for him or any other potential winners of the K-Lo primary.

Posted by: justin case at May 23, 2007 8:30 AM

Do you think Rudy will be stung by the allegations that he didn't protect workers, his lack of foreign policy experience (which maybe could be helped by choice of running mate), and his ties to people like Kerik?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at May 23, 2007 8:58 AM

Amy, the points you raise are valid, but most of them are subtle points that don't fit very well into TV spots. For every, "Rudy Giuliani hired a man with shady connections to be his police commissioner" spot run by the Democrats, he can simply run a nice, "On America's darkest day, one man took charge of his shattered city and showed the world what American courage is all about..." (hey, that's not bad! are campaign commercials that easy?). I think the second spot will work wonders with people who don't follow politics carefully. I think where Rudy has more trouble is in the primaries; primary voters are both more politically informed and more extremist in their views. Are Republican primary voters going to support a guy who is avowedly pro-choice and who has supported gun control in the past? Maybe if the choice is vs. McCain and Romney, but there's still a lot of room for a conservative's conservative (hence the drooling for Thompson).

Posted by: justin case at May 23, 2007 9:30 AM

Amy - do you really believe that the Democrats are any cleaner? Dirty politicians are a way of life. Politics ATTRACTS the corrupt. I note that nobody seems terribly interested in investigating a certain senatrix from California whose husband just happened to benefit immensely from her years on the appropriations committee. Are we really only interested in corrupt Republicans?

There's only one way to clean up politics, and that is to dramatically roll back the power of the federal government. Once the government no longer has anything to offer business, business won't be interested in co-opting government. Once the reason to co-opt government is gone, the corrupt will no longer have any reason to go into government, as it will no longer represent an easy avenue to wealth and prestige.

The filth will continue to flow so long as politicians wield power over individuals and businesses.


Posted by: brian at May 23, 2007 9:52 AM

There's only one way to clean up politics, and that is to dramatically roll back the power of the federal government. Once the government no longer has anything to offer business, business won't be interested in co-opting government.

And I'd like a pony.

Posted by: justin case at May 23, 2007 10:32 AM

> "On America's darkest day, one
> man took charge of his shattered
> city and showed the world what
> American courage is all about..."
> (hey, that's not bad!

Christ, it gave me a pissin' shiver. Late in his life, Zappa once confessed that while attending a maudlin Broadway show, he felt a tear welling up.... "So I guess the typical hardware has been installed," he said. This from a man with zero patience for teenage heartbreak narratives, and an actively violent response to shitty music.

> and his ties to people
> like Kerik?

And through Kerik, to even worse people like Regan?

http://urltea.com/m64

I kid.

Seriously, the only "ties" that mean anything are worn on the neck. Otherwise its the word of innuendo, and in Kerik's case it's not necessary, since we have the goods!

But I don't know what he was supposed to do for the workers. Is anyone else surprised that the people who worked there --and remember, it went on for months-- were poisoned? Could Giuliani have done anything to protect his burghers, let alone the rescue and recovery teams? Lawyers will win lawsuits, but this was an absolutely unprecedented attack. When the city loses those liability suits, I'll think no less of Giuliani.

Posted by: Crid at May 23, 2007 10:33 AM

I'm no fan of the Democrats, believe me. What I see in the current administration, however, is an unparalleled level of hubris in flouting the law. My joking shorthand on the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans: The Republicans are evil and the Democrats are too stupid to be.

And before you roast me on the over-the-top use of the word "evil" and the assumption that all of anything are one thing or another -- those are broad brush strokes, but there's some truth to that, you probably have to admit.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at May 23, 2007 10:34 AM

> unparalleled level of hubris

Oh, you wish.

Sure, this is a shitty administration. But they're all shitty! All second terms go badly. And the sad truth about these scandals is that they're nickel-and-dimings. I've been assuming that there was a motherfucking Watergate in here somewhere, but there just isn't (to date).

Posted by: Crid at May 23, 2007 10:39 AM

Christ, it gave me a pissin' shiver.

Maybe I do have a future in politics! (yikes.)


What I see in the current administration, however, is an unparalleled level of hubris in flouting the law.

Exactly. The theory of the "Unitary Executive" is one of the most pernicious ideas in politics today. Course, it's tough to get the peoples worked up over fighting a theory (except Evolution!).

Posted by: justin case at May 23, 2007 10:46 AM

> Exactly.

Christ. You two are like children fidgeting in the back seat of the station wagon during a long trip. Settle down, OK? We're "halfway yet," actually a little beyond. We'll let you pee at Stuckey's in a year or so.

Posted by: Crid at May 23, 2007 10:50 AM

We're "halfway yet," actually a little beyond. We'll let you pee at Stuckey's in a year or so.

But I hate Stuckey's. Wanna go to Denny's!

In all seriousness, though, I'm greatly troubled by the Bush people's assertions that they're above any and all oversight. I don't remember Nixon, but my knowledge of history suggests the attitudes regarding the office are similar. If the president does it, it's not illegal.

Posted by: justin case at May 23, 2007 11:06 AM

If the Congress had not been actively undermining the executive branch for the last 40 years, perhaps Bush wouldn't be trying to take that power back.

Amy - actually, it's the Democrats that are actively evil. They are the ones that seek to implement the failed policies of socialism and communism.

The Republicans are whatever one notch below evil is. They are the margarine of evil. They are the Diet Coke of evil. Just one calorie, not evil enough.

Either way, they have all been consumed with the idea that they need to run my life because I'm too dumb to do it myself. But I'm easily three to four standard deviations above every one of them in intelligence.

Posted by: brian at May 23, 2007 11:32 AM

Conservatively, a smart politician like say, Newt probably has an IQ of at least 120. SD for Stanford-Binet is 16, so Brian is rocking around an IQ of at least 168, solidly above the genius level of 160. What's he doing hanging around with his intellectual inferiors?

I love it when people say Democrats are trying to implement Communist policies. Actively evil, of course! Every nation with any socialist policies is a failure! Yay hyperbole!

Posted by: justin case at May 23, 2007 11:55 AM

Bush has used his “war on terrorism” as an excuse for anything his administration decides it wants to do. They’ve used it as a blank check with us paying the bill. To bad we haven’t been fighting the real war against terrorist. If you don’t agree with what’s coming down then you must be “unpatriotic” or at least that’s what you’ll hear.

Maybe we’ll see another Clinton/Gore ticket. Are there term limits on the VP slot?

I think you’re right, the bullshit is about to hit the blades.

Posted by: Roger at May 23, 2007 12:09 PM

Justin - considering that Bush is estimated to be in the 120 range and I've seen Gore claimed to be at 134, that 168 seems like it might be about right.

About those communist policies - restrictions on freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of speech. All put forth by Democrats. Centralizing of economic activity, assaulting private businesses - again, Democrats. Who else does these things? Communists like the USSR and China. You can attempt to reconcile communism and socialism with reality, but reality will win every time. There is no evidence to suggest that socialist policies are sustainable.

Roger - you might want to rethink that desire. If Clinton had actually fought terrorists the first time he was in office, 9/11 might not have happened. Pattern matching tells me that no democrat is any more likely to do anything now than they were in 1993.

Posted by: brian at May 23, 2007 12:27 PM

> troubled by the Bush people's
> assertions that they're above
> any and all oversight.

You're absolutely right! IJS there's nothing new about it.

> If the Congress had not
> been actively undermining
> the executive branch for 0
> the last 40 years

Well, sure, but it's in the last forty years (fifty or sixty maybe) that the presidency's acquired a disproportionate amount of power by circumstances. So this is a snapback of a snapback.

In any case, Drudge had a headline this morning about Edwards trying "move us beyond the war on terror" or words to that effect. That would probably be worthwhile. It's going to be a very long fight, but we're dialed in and ready. And Bush's first stances for the Executive branch, while still standing, have seen important failures in both rhetoric and operations.

> the bullshit is about
> to hit the blades.

Which blade? Fer Chrissake, Abramoff's been incarcerated for months and months. Why couldn't they make any of this stick in the last seven years? All we're talking about is Rovery. You may find Rove venal, but he's not atypical for Washington, and he's not clumsy enough to have made a grand misstep.

One of the worst of these little scandals is the US Attorneys thing: Sure, the Administration bungled it. But it was a routine political maneuver. So there's nothing the Dems can do to exploit it that can't be done to them in the years ahead, just as there'd be zero credence to impeachment talk today if Republicans hadn't tilled the soil a few years ago.

At this hour, noon Wednesday, there's still no Watergate. This administration --handily re-elected-- is being beaten by the clock as much as anything. They're certainly not being overwhelmed by their opponent.

Posted by: Crid at May 23, 2007 12:38 PM

Politicians are all the same...and they're all trying to take over for the religious right. We put in a Democratic governor in Ohio for the first time in ages...and it's more of the same...and he's a PASTOR. Oh, my, dog!!!

Posted by: MJ at May 23, 2007 1:23 PM

A spectre is haunting America—the spectre of the spectre of Communism.

Posted by: Joe at May 23, 2007 1:55 PM

Joe -
it's only a spectre if it isn't true.

What would YOU call government-managed single-payer health-care? Me? I call it "pinheads in Washington decide who lives, who dies, and who's born". I also call it virtually indistinguishable from Socialism.

Given that Socialism and Communism are responsible for more death than any other ideology in the history of human existence, I see no reason to ever accept them as valid forms of political discourse.

Posted by: brian at May 23, 2007 1:58 PM

Brian, I appreciate your directness in opposing ALL forms of socialism and the like. It's helpful to know where people stand.

But here's the point: as soon as taxes are collected at all, there is socialism to a certain degree. Here's an example: do you oppose the government taking your tax dollars to improve our roads? Or to provide for clean drinking water, and to make sure that the magic that happens when your toilet flushes doesn't pollute the oceans that provide seafood? These are socialist in nature as well, because money is taken from all of us, and applied to things that we as individuals might not personally choose, or might not choose in the same degree.

Posted by: justin case at May 23, 2007 2:43 PM

Justin - the difference between infrastructure projects and social engineering is quite stark. As is the difference between government-owned roads and socialized medicine. Only the over-the-edge libertarian freaks are against infrastructure (which the Constitution explicitly allows).

Socialism is not the taking of money from citizens for spending on items of common benefit. Socialism (and its retarded cousin Communism) are the central control of the means of production or the central ownership of industry, with the intention of centrally controlling production.

The government may provide roads from tax dollars, but they do not control all roads, nor do they prevent others from being built.

A pure socialized medicine scheme (such as Canada's) is one where the government controls all medical care assets directly, and no contracting for services outside the government's system is allowed. It's called central planning, and Friedman did quite a good job of proving its inherent impossibility.

Even with government roads, the market (read - the populace) determine when and where they go (excepting corruption where a municipal project is done as a political favor).

Socialism tells you how many shoes to make based upon the government's arbitrary decision of how many shoes should be needed. It tells you how many needles to buy based upon how many people should get sick. In the event that those guesses were low? Oh, well. No shoes for you.

Socialism is the height of hubris. It presumes that perfect information is always available, and all systems remain static. Capitalism, on the other hand, is nothing more than one big fat feedback loop. Socialism/Communism tell the market what it will want. Capitalism lets the market tell it what is wanted.

There are communists in our country, and they still think that the USSR was the right system run by the wrong people. And they still think that they can run a command economy, if only us stupid proles would let them.

Posted by: brian at May 23, 2007 3:36 PM

Brian,

You are making the classic mistake of misinterpreting government action with real tyranny. Try reading Roberto Michels’ Iron Law of Oligarchy on the nature of government, political parties and bureaucracies. The law states:

“All forms of organization, regardless of how democratic or autocratic they may be at the start, will eventually and inevitably develop into oligarchies. The reasons for this are the technical indispensability of leadership, the tendency of the leaders to organize themselves and to consolidate their interests; the gratitude of the led towards the leaders, and the general immobility and passivity of the masses. “

Ever hear the vulgar quote: "shit floats to the top” Well, it is a crude version of Michel’s Law. I prefer Terry Pratchett’s version: "Other things float to the top except cream."

Also, drop the communism... it makes you sound like an escapee from the Birchers-New World Order crowd. By the way, are you a member?

Posted by: Joe at May 23, 2007 3:37 PM

Joe - anyone who tries to claim that there is, in fact, a new world order gets tuned out immediately by me. I wouldn't give the time of day to a Bircher, either.

Communism, as an ideology, is inherently flawed. It requires everyone to be perfectly co-operative, and also requires that nobody has any desire beyond basic sustenance. Since humans don't conform to that, Communism must always be enforced by totalitarian means (i.e. purges, death squads, secret police). You can tell me to drop it all you want, but anyone who wants to tell me that the government is better equipped to make decisions about personal matters is going to be calld a communist.

And yes, all governments will degenerate to oligarchy. Mostly because people are lazy. All nations have been ruled, ultimately, by an educated and monied elite. The ones that were worth living in were the ones where said elite was benign. Our elite is becoming more and more malignant and intrusive. The Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton dynastic progression is particularly worrying to me.

And Michels' law was more simply restated by Scott Adams thus: "Civilization is driven by the fact that all humans are basically horny, lazy, and stupid".

And that's the allure of Communism - it promises that it can run things such that everyone can be the least that they can be.

I'd like very much to see a more benign elite put in place than the pseudo-totalitarian PC crowd we have now, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Posted by: brian at May 23, 2007 3:45 PM

Given that Socialism and Communism are responsible for more death than any other ideology in the history of human existence

Wow. And here I thought that the tiara, sash, and bouquet of long-stemmed red roses went to organized religion. Communism, as proposed by Marx and Engels, and practiced by governments around the world, has only been in existence 150 years, give or take. Religion's been a reason for mass murder since the first homo sapien started painting on the cave walls. Your statement just isn't statistically possible.

Posted by: Rebecca at May 23, 2007 4:24 PM

Friedman did quite a good job of proving its inherent impossibility.

It's clearly quite possible, Brian. It's just non-optimal.

Posted by: justin case at May 23, 2007 4:36 PM

Rebecca, I'm not going to replay the entire debate here, but Communism is responsible for more than 100 million deaths in the 20th century alone. That's a few orders of magnitude greater than all religions combined during all of recorded history. And the theories of communism pre-date Marx and Engels by at least two centuries. The first colony in the US was a commune. Half the people didn't survive the first winter.

Justin - Friedman proved that it is not possible to have a centrally-planned economy. It requires perfect knowledge, which does not exist. The Soviet Union was destined to fail from the moment pen hit paper to propose it. The Soviets were to ideologically blinkered to see it, but success just wasn't in the cards.

Posted by: brian at May 23, 2007 5:57 PM

Some commons needs can be identified and met at competitive prices. I've always admired the Interstate Highway system and the Apollo program.

Posted by: Crid at May 23, 2007 7:07 PM

Brian, it's clearly quite possible to have some aspects of an economy be planned. Your original statement of impossibility arose regarding Canada's health care system. It ain't perfect (neither is ours), but there's no evidence it's going anywhere either. Please note here, I'm not arguing that this is a good thing or a bad thing, just that it exists regardless of what Friedman wrote.

Posted by: justin case at May 24, 2007 6:57 AM

Speaking of corruption, where is the rage at Sandy "docs in my sox" Berger, Amy? Stealing highly classified documents to cover Clinton's ass and legally firing attorneys are on opposite ends of the crappy politician scale.

How about Murtha literally threatening a fellow Democrat on the floor yesterday a month after a new rule barring reps from making such threats. Why the threat? Murtha didn't want him to vote against his pork. The measure passed with only two Dem's crossing sides. Basically an endorsement of Murtha.
They are all full of shit.

...

Communism and Religion are philosophical soul mates. They both demand the sacrifice of the individual, just for a different purpose. Religion for the Lord and Communism for workers of the world. So get on the same team and fight them both by upholding individual rights and reject altruism.

Brian - the first settlement in America absolutely WAS NOT a commune. The colony at Jamestown , Virginia was established as a profit-seeking venture by a Global Corporation: the London Company. Capitalism was truly the
creator of the United States of America.

Posted by: newjonny at May 24, 2007 7:26 AM

Speaking of corruption, where is the rage at Sandy "docs in my sox" Berger, Amy?

This is a blog item, newjonny, not a bill in Congress. I can't put every single thing I think in every piece I blog. But, to answer your question, my outrage at Sandy Berger can be found in the Abramoff/pen pal link directly above:

...Here's an unrepentant scumbag from the other side, Clinton administration national security advisor Sandy Berger. Berger stole classified documents from the National Archives, stashed them under a construction trailer, and cut them into tiny pieces. When this first came to light, he called it "an honest mistake."

They should stick him in a cell with Abramoff and give the two of them a lot of time to parse the meaning of that.

Don't you think they'd be kind of cute together?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at May 24, 2007 7:59 AM

Gotcha - actually I remember that entry. You are indeed happy to hit both sides - deserving as they are.
Thanks

Posted by: newjonny at May 24, 2007 8:15 AM

Ah, but now you're muddying the waters of the debate, Brian. The "theories of communism", whatever that means to the average ideologue, go back even farther. Early Christianity was modeled on a group dynamic similiar to a commune. Utopianists of the 19th century, like the Shakers, were a commune. However, in no way do they resemble the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century because they were based on a religious or tribal model that Marx and Engels rejected outright as not being part of the class struggle. Stalin, Mao and the Khmer Rouge did not look at the example of the Shakers. They were not making lemon pies and attractive rocking chairs. They were eradicating the upper classes based on their readings of the Manifesto, Lenin and Mao's Little Red Book.

And newjonny got to it before I did, but Jamestown was not a commune. Colonies were not communes. Jamestown was a proto-capitalist enterprise designed to claim land for England and send raw materials back to the mother country. It failed because of ignorance; ignorance of the land, native agricultural practices, disease and climate.

One of the hallmarks of a totalitarian or fascist regime is to bend and erase human history to suit an ideological end. I think you need to take a good long look in the mirror, Brian, because in your need to prove your points you're committing the same intellectual crime.

Posted by: Rebecca at May 24, 2007 8:33 AM

Rebecca - Please forgive the temporal anomaly. The colony in question is not, of course, Jamestown (1604), but Plymouth (1620). Where indeed communism was the practice, for the first winter. Being from New England, perhaps my view of history's beginning is skewed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Bradford_(1590-1657)

Money quote:

Some historians feel that Bradford's greatest achievement was in abandoning the system of communal agriculture initially practiced in the colony and introducing a system of privatized production, with land allotted to each family. These historians contend that the colonists produced more by farming for themselves, rather than for the community.

Communal Agriculture. Communism failed in America in 1620. Marx' addition of class struggle was simply a post-industrial-revolution rewrite of the same story.

I need no look in the mirror. You, however, might wish to check your self-righteousness at the door.

Posted by: brian at May 24, 2007 9:44 AM

Simple equations time:

A. One lone individual + absolute certainty = lone nut with a poorly Xeroxed manifesto or blog (IQ +105)

B. Group of individuals + absolute certainty = potential tyranny

Now you can dress B up as religious or political belief systems. The end results are the same: Repression.

Going back and forth on petty historical episodes is pointless. The real source is the ease that most humans find themselves in believing absolute certainty in their personal or group ideologies.

Posted by: Joe at May 24, 2007 9:45 AM

(note to Amy - I got a weird message about this one being evaluated - I suspect the link tripped the filter when I went to preview first, as it replaced the link with a triply-embedded one. If it ends up duped, I apologize in advance)

Rebecca - Please forgive the temporal anomaly. The colony in question is not, of course, Jamestown (1604), but Plymouth (1620). Where indeed communism was the practice, for the first winter. Being from New England, perhaps my view of history's beginning is skewed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Bradford_(1590-1657

Money quote:

Some historians feel that Bradford's greatest achievement was in abandoning the system of communal agriculture initially practiced in the colony and introducing a system of privatized production, with land allotted to each family. These historians contend that the colonists produced more by farming for themselves, rather than for the community.

Communal Agriculture. Communism failed in America in 1620. Marx' addition of class struggle was simply a post-industrial-revolution rewrite of the same story.

I need no look in the mirror. You, however, might wish to check your self-righteousness at the door.

Posted by: brian at May 24, 2007 10:07 AM

Joe - always gotta get that dig in, eh? At least I've graduated from moron to lunatic. I suppose that's progress.

Posted by: brian at May 24, 2007 10:09 AM

Rebecca, why do you think Jamestown failed? That was the beginning of America - John Locke's Second Treatise of Government was to come 80 years later. The Jamestown enterprise began the work of building America.

Joe, I disagree these are petty and pointless disagreements of history. Common knowledge has it that America was somehow founded in Plymouth by religous nutters. That is simply not the case - Plymouth failed. The for-profit enterprise succeeded.

Posted by: newjonny at May 24, 2007 10:31 AM

I am to please. Everyone has potential, even fools, PhDs candidates or fools with PhDs.

I wasn't giving out specifics with the first equation. It was more to the garden variety nut job, but if you do see yourself as one, by all means.

Posted by: Joe at May 24, 2007 10:40 AM

Yeah, Brian, more than one link trips the spam filter. If you want to put in two, please just post them in comments one after the next. I retrieved it, but seeing it's a dupe, I'll delete it.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at May 24, 2007 10:44 AM

Amy - it was only one link, but the preview turned it into HTML, and previewing a second time did it again. My bad for not noticing.

Joe - I'm not insane, just a little outside what polite company considers acceptable. Just because someone is paranoid doesn't mean nobody's out to get them.

Posted by: brian at May 24, 2007 11:04 AM

I am well aware of the Jamestown colony results, newjonny.

What I do have is a low toleration of petty squabbles over historical episodes. Anyone can recite a particular incident through out recorded history to validate their claim. This is why I do not engage in any debates with religious types on which side killed the most people.

I could see a parallel universe where Star Trek fans would kill each other over the use of the term Trekker or Trekie. What would be the source? Outside the fact that the fans need to get a life. Their absolute certainty in the 2 different positions and the willingness to exploit our base mammalian tendencies towards violence.

What does winning the debate over the Plymouth Colony versus the Jamestown Colony offer? Outside inflating the individual participants' egos and killing some time.

Posted by: Joe at May 24, 2007 11:09 AM

Joe - what it does is very simple - it provides further evidence that communal economics simply do not work, never have worked, and can not be adequately expected to work.

Posted by: brian at May 24, 2007 11:15 AM

That America was not founded on Christian ideals.

Posted by: newjonny at May 24, 2007 11:18 AM

Up to a certain point, when someone uses an alternative to validate their particular claim. Are you starting to get the premise, Brian? Both arguments are set up to fail when the participants use absolute certainty in defending their claims.

By the way, I do agree with your premise on communal economics. But the alternative will have its failures too and the opponents will cite them as perfect examples in the defense of their beliefs. Vice versa.

Posted by: Joe at May 24, 2007 11:37 AM

No self-righteousness here, Brian, just an aversion to hyperbole.

Posted by: Rebecca at May 24, 2007 1:09 PM

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