The Education of Edward Daley

Ken AshfordRight Wing Punditry/IdiocyLeave a Comment

Rightwing columnist Edward Daley penned a column this weekend entitled "A Few Questions For Liberals".  No doubt these questions will be as loaded as "When did you stop beating your wife?", but having nothing better to do, I am happy to answer Mr. Daley, and maybe he will learn something.

1) The modern American "peace movement" is responsible for the deaths of far more people than the U.S.-involved wars its members have protested over the past half century. Why then are so many Americans still convinced that going to war is the worst thing our country can do?

Let’s start with that mind-blowing premise: that the "peace movement" is responsible for more deaths than actual war.

No, on second thought, let’s not.

Instead let’s just reflect on that premise, and pick the piece of our cerebral cortex off of the splattered-on wall.

Now on to the question. Many Americans don’t think going to war is the worst thing out country can do.  It really depends on the war, doesn’t it, Ed?   I know of few Americans who — even today — think fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan was a bad idea.  It’s leaving that war to start some stupid folly in Iraq that is bad.

Going into meaningless unwinnable wars bring us nothing, but a drastic decline in American prestige, and — oh, yeah — needless deaths.

2) Over the course of its existence, our planet has been much colder and much warmer than it is today, having endured periodic ice ages and various cataclysmic natural events. That being the case, why would anyone choose to believe that human beings are responsible for the earth’s most recent, and relatively mild, climatic shift?

Because the same science that has informed us about the periodic ice ages and the cataclysmic natural events is telling us now that the global climatic shift is due to a century of pumping dangerous flourocarbons and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.  Why would thousands of scientiests make this up?

3) The Bush doctrine of preemptive warfare would — in all likelihood — have saved tens of millions of lives had it been implemented against Nazi Germany prior to Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939. So why do human rights activists today insist that stopping Islamofascists from acquiring nuclear weapons isn’t worth the cost in human life?

Hmmm.  The Bush doctrine of preemptive warfare would — in all likelihood — have killed hundreds of millions of lives had it been implemented during the Cold War against Russia.  Ever think of that?  In any event, I’m all for stopping Islamofascists from acquiring nuclear weapons.  The problem is that Saddam was hardly an Islamofascist and is ability to acquire nuclear weapons was nil.  The doctrine of pre-emption is fine — Clinton engaged in pre-emptive strikes against Iraq for years explicitly for the purpose of preventing them from obtaining WMDs.  It worked by the way, and we didn’t find ourselves in the deadly morass we are in now.

4) Monetary transactions between private citizens are what fuel our economy. The government taxes private citizens, thereby removing money from the economy. Since economic growth is dependent upon increased monetary transactions within the private sector, why do Democrat lawmakers routinely propose raising taxes, especially on those citizens who invest the most money in our economy?

Ed, you are a moron.  Yes, the government taxes private citizens, but that doesn’t remove money from the economy.  What do you think the government does with that money?  It spends it.  And that money often goes into the private sector, this fueling the economy.  The government builds a road.  Building that road employs people.  Those people get paid.  They spend that money.  And so it goes.  (Also, the road itself enables business to transport their goods from point A to point B, also helping the economy).

As for taxing the people who "invest" (i.e., spend) the most money in our economy, who do you propose be taxed?  Those who can’t afford it?  There is nothing wrong — in fact, it is a moral right — to tax more those who benefit most from capitalism.  Don’t worry — they will still come out ahead.  In the words of Charlie Sheen, "How many yachts can you waterski behind?" 

5) The word viable — as it applies to human beings — means capable of life or normal growth and development. An unborn human being during every stage of gestation is clearly alive and capable of normal development, unless he or she is genetically predisposed to abnormal growth or is hindered in some way from developing naturally by an external force. That being the case, why do some people argue that unborn human beings are non-viable during the earliest stages of their development, and therefore, appropriate candidates for abortion?

Ed, you are (intentionally?) blurring the distinction between viable (which, as you say, means "capable  of life" and life itself.  Nobody argues that unborn human beings are "non-viable", but they argue that (at certain early stage) they are not LIFE. 

In any event, the abortion debate turns on the question of "what is life" — a question with scientific, moral, and religious overtones.  There is no right answer as to when life begins — it is a matter of opinion.  Personal opinion.  A deeply personal opinion.  Pro-choice is not anti-abortion; it simply means that the choice of when life begins for a fetus should be left to the individual, not the government that you apparently despise so much.

6) The Geneva Conventions’ protocols relative to the treatment of prisoners of war, were created for the purpose of holding the signatories of the various treaties which make up those Conventions to a certain moral standard of behavior during times of war. Any entity, be it a nation, group, or individual, that does not adhere to the standards set forth therein, is not subject to the Conventions’ protections under international law. How then can one justify affording such protections to terrorists, who ignore all of the aforementioned behavioral standards?

The problem with that line of thinking is: Who decides who is a "terrorist"?  A guy who gets picked up off the streets in Kabul — is he a terrorist or not?  If not, he is a civilian (a non-combatant), and subject to protection under the Geneva Conventions whether or not he (or his country) is a signatory or not.

Oh, and one last thing…

7) If George W. Bush is as stupid as so many liberals claim, how did he manage to steal an election, mastermind 9/11, cover up his administration’s involvement in that event after the fact, con practically every Congressional Democrat into going to war with Iraq just so he could further enrich his cronies in the oil industry, single-handedly destroy every American’s civil rights via the Patriot Act, and then steal a second election on top of all that? And if he’s really an evil genius, which he’d surely have to be to get away with even half of those things, why aren’t his primary political adversaries in prison on trumped-up criminal charges right now… or dead?

Can’t answer that.  My brain exploded again.