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Religious right activists have organized to take control of the court system "across San Diego County and eventually America," according to "digbysblog.blogspot.com." The group, called "Better Courts Now," has been written up on other blogs such as "Right Wing Watch," as well as blogs that favor the activity. Assemblyman Joel Anderson, R-La Mesa, and one of his predecessors from the 77th Assembly District are among those appearing in videos for the Chula Vista-based group that urges conservatives to elect judges who value "life and traditional family," according to the digsby site. The fundamentalist group's website is BetterCourtsNow.com.

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Comments

SomeoneElse March 14, 2010 @ 1:37 p.m.

Because they are only "activist judges" when you don't agree with what they are doing.

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SurfPuppy619 March 14, 2010 @ 1:56 p.m.

Because they are only "activist judges" when you don't agree with what they are doing.

Well, if what they're doing is bringing "religion" into the justice system, or any part of gov, they are violating that little part of the Constitution known as the Establishment Clause under the 1st Amendment.

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Don Bauder March 14, 2010 @ 7:16 p.m.

Response to post #1`: You're right: it's only liberal judges who get the pejorative "activist." Conservative judges who are altering the law from the bench don't get the moniker, for some reason. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 14, 2010 @ 7:20 p.m.

Response to post #2: These fundamentalist groups don't see it that way. I noticed that in the recent stories about alteration of Texas text books (to have different views on such things as evolution and global warming), there will be a new emphasis on how our country's founders were supposedly religious and meant religion to be a part of American law. I don't agree with that, but it is apparently, and not surprisingly, overwhelmingly the opinion in Texas. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 March 14, 2010 @ 9:19 p.m.

You're right: it's only liberal judges who get the pejorative "activist." Conservative judges who are altering the law from the bench don't get the moniker, for some reason

I have spoken to many people who feel that Roberts et al. are certainly conservative "activist" judges, and has really stepped over the line in many of the cases decided since Roberts joined the court. That last decison allowing corps and unions unlimited spending in federal elections is a perfect example (not to mention 88% of the public disagreed with him and that opinion ).

I have never seen a conservative "activist" judge as bad as Thomas though. That guy is so far to the right it is dangerous. Some of his decisions are so far off base it calls into question his intelligence. He has more 8-1 votes, with him being the 1, out of any judge in modern times. He votes in favor of the gov 95% of the time, and has really put out some ridiculous opinions. He has no business sitting on the SCOTUS.

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85db March 14, 2010 @ 9:35 p.m.

then there is Sharia law that will really make things interesting.

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Don Bauder March 15, 2010 @ 10:10 a.m.

Response to post #5: I think there was a general consensus that Thomas had no intellectual heft at the time he got named to the court. Remember the wild hearings on his confirmation? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 15, 2010 @ 10:14 a.m.

Response to post #6: I think it will be some time before Sharia law, based on the teaching of Allah, makes it into U.S. law. Best, Don Bauder

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a2zresource March 15, 2010 @ 12:05 p.m.

Does "conservative" mean "keep things the same" or does it mean "change things NOW already to re-acquire a previous state of things"? Or are there still other meanings?

Don Bauder picks really good topics to write about. Locally, he's my hero.

In any case, I predict controversy, especially on that part about "bringing 'religion' into the justice system". After all, if religion cannot be brought into the justice system at all, then that would have the affect of rendering the Courts' ability at all levels to make sensible rulings on much of the First Amendment relating to free speech and assembly. The Courts cannot rule on matters that cannot be brought before them (Marbury v. Madison, 5 US 137, http://www4.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0005_0137_ZS.html).

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a2zresource March 15, 2010 @ 12:09 p.m.

I gotta proofread my stuff before hitting the post comment button...

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Don Bauder March 15, 2010 @ 12:44 p.m.

Response to post #9: The word conservative means "cautious." But things done under the name of so-called political conservatism, such as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, supply side slashing of the rich's taxes, jettisoning of Glass-Steagall, etc. have been utterly reckless. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 15, 2010 @ 1 p.m.

Response to post #12: Me too. I think it applies to all of us on this blog from time to time. Best, Don Bauder

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Robert Johnston March 15, 2010 @ 1:40 p.m.

Fundamentalism, no matter the faith, does not stand for progress. It's a "my way or the highway, because Our Godhead say so!" belief system.

Just remember that Christian Fundamentalism is as pernicious as any other brand. Anti-science, anti-civil rights, and truly anti-freedom...are these the sort of folks you want in power?

For their "ultimate source of judicial inspiration," it would not be the U.S. Constitution they would fall back on, but the Traditional King James Version of the Holy Bible that would guide their decisions.

Some would say "What would be wrong with that?" It's simple, really...our judicial system was not, is not, and should never be, based on a strict interpretation of Mosaic (Biblical) law. Our system is based on English common law of Blackstone fame, superseeded by the United States Constitution and The Bill Of Rights!

Frank Zappa said it best:

"You can't run a country on a book of religion/ Not by a heap, a lump, or a smidgen!"

--from "Dumb All Over" on YOU ARE WHAT YOU IS.

We Americans might be a naive people, but we are far from stupid. After seeing what the Taliban pulled in Afghanistan, I seriously doubt that we want THAT for our nation, albeit in a "Christian" form.

--LPR

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Don Bauder March 15, 2010 @ 2:45 p.m.

Response to post #13: Those who believe that the Bible is the word of God should read the book, "Misquoting Jesus," by Bart D. Ehrman (HarperOne). It traces historically how various humans with their own biases and agendas essentially created the Bible. (I have not read it but my wife and oldest son have, and have reported its contents to me.) The author started as a fundamentalist scholar believing the Bible was the word of God; he ended up an agnostic. Best, Don Bauder

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Robert Johnston March 15, 2010 @ 7:56 p.m.

Hey, DB: Thanks for the tip on the book. Next time I'm in Barnes & Nobel, I'll see if they have a copy for purchase. If so...it will be a welcome addition to my library.

LPR

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Don Bauder March 15, 2010 @ 10:22 p.m.

Response to post #15: You can get it online, too. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 16, 2010 @ 10:14 a.m.

Isaiah 32 5

The vile person shall no more be called liberal. nor the churl said to be bountiful.

For the vile person will speak villainy, and his heart will work iniquity, to practice hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Lord, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.

The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.

But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.

Rise up ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, hear my voice ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech.

Once I thought these lines referred to the churlish Bush and the villainous Cheney, now perhaps they refer to the mayor and city manager, and predict the rise of Donna Frye and a new slate of candidates.

Seriously, they tell us that our fight is an old one, and we can expect tag teams of charming fools and vile manipulators.

Personally I don't follow this book or any other, but unlike some who claim to follow, I read it, and stand for generous, liberal things.

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Don Bauder March 16, 2010 @ 10:38 a.m.

Response to post #17: The enemy won't be just tag teams of the vile. It will be all the money those teams can muster to sway a naive public. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 16, 2010 @ 12:19 p.m.

We should remember that all mainstream religions opposed the Iraq adventure until they felt the need to pray for our troops. Some Pentecostal groups supported it, perhaps due to their handling of venomous snakes, and the resulting lack of fear.

Obama is pentecostal, I supported him for his unequivocal opposition to the start of war in Iraq, I support him now as he defends those who allied themselves with us in our misadventures. We may be forced to bring them all here as we did with the Vietnamese.

Christianity is not monolithic nor is always noisy, Skip Frye believes and teaches, with the pounding surf behind him I am told. What Donna believes is her business, but her ethics come from somewhere.

Christians are part of the consensus we need to save our city, and our nation. I don't follow or believe, but I endorse the few hours every week that some worship something other than money.

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Psycholizard March 16, 2010 @ 2:25 p.m.

While on the topic of religion and the courts, we should note that the Mt. Soledad Cross was paced on ground with an active anti Jewish covenant, and this was common knowledge when it was erected. The meaning was closer to Ku Klux Klan travesty than Christian thought now.

To express the belief of La Jolla today, we might need a Star of David. We have progressed, but we should still confess our sins, and not simply forget them.

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Don Bauder March 16, 2010 @ 4:06 p.m.

Response to post #19: It's my understanding that the fundamentalists supported the Iraq invasion overwhelmingly. It was only a few so-called liberal groups, such as Unitarians and Presbyterians, who, following the actual pacifistic teachings of Jesus, opposed the war. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 16, 2010 @ 4:09 p.m.

Response to post #20: I take it you mean that when the Mt. Soledad cross was erected, the unspoken anti-Jewish covenant was in effect in La Jolla. I don't know when the cross was erected. The covenant began breaking down when UCSD was built. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 16, 2010 @ 9:49 p.m.

to 22

Did I really compare the Soledad Cross to the Ku Klux Klan? I think I went too far. I must have been under the influence of that 16th century prose, which is hot blooded even for the internet.

The people who erected the cross in 1954 acted out of love, not anger, but had full knowledge of the racial and religious deed restrictions that segregated the city. These restrictions are still in the fine print of title deeds today.

I wish the Mt. Soledad lawsuit would go away, because it divides the city, and I resist fighting over symbol. But when the city is accused of breaking the constitution by preferring Christianity over other religions we should simply confess and take our punishment. After all He did.

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Don Bauder March 16, 2010 @ 10:15 p.m.

Response to post #23: If the cross was erected in 1954, then the unspoken covenant was in effect. My guess is that there were very few La Jollans who considered the covenant to be a violation of their Christian beliefs. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 16, 2010 @ 11:11 p.m.

to 21

I remember the Pope condemning the run up to war, and when the Church and the Unitarians agree, we can say the opposition was widely spread, if not complete. The Pentecostals are denied the "mainstream" tag by other Christian groups on the issue of talking in tongues' and other practices unique to them and anathema to others. Lets say "mainstream" is vague, self defining and to be avoided. In any case the television evangelists, mostly Pentecostals, managed to out shout out the many groups opposed to the war, as you attest.

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Don Bauder March 17, 2010 @ 9:36 a.m.

Response to post #25: There were many churches that correctly opposed the Vietnam war. But it was a disappointing few that opposed Bush's disastrous Iraq adventure -- based, as it was, on a falsehood: WMDs. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 17, 2010 @ 1:36 p.m.

to 26

I blame our six and a half day worship of greed, pride and anger for the war, not our Sunday breaks from the TV and Game Boy. This secular nation strikes the religious pose to mask our money grabbing, and justify our anger. The angry fanatics that have packed our courts talk hypocritical morals in their opposition to abortion and gay access to family courts, but the financial backing comes from, and practical results go to, businesses that want their lawyer's tricks upheld.

As for WMDs, the farmer's daughter can't claim the traveling salesman raped her by deception when she was so willing and ready to be deceived. The war was perpetrated on two assertions, that Iraq's military was a danger to the whole world, even our well defended nation, and that the war would be quick and easy. Both assertions could not be true, as it turned out, both were false. Such transparent lies could only deceive the willing.

The nation wanted to believe that our anger and pride could be satiated with a quick little war against a national villain, Saddam Hussein, and we got a bloody nose, Now we want to blame the snake oil salesmen who talked us into it.

Regardless of blame, the nation has the responsibility to deal with the ugly babies these salesmen left behind, the wars and recession.

Now the farmer's daughter nation opens the door to new salesmen pitching a baby beautiful procedure identical to that which made the babies. Perhaps we like getting screwed.

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Don Bauder March 17, 2010 @ 3:02 p.m.

Response to post #37: There was a great scholar at UCSD, whose name escapes me at the moment, who declared correctly that, "War is organized theft." Most wars are economic wars. I believe the big oil companies had divided up the Iraq oil lands before we invaded; that's why Cheney fought so hard to keep the records of those meetings with the oil companies secret. Don't listen to those who claim we wanted to democratize the Middle East. That is utter garbage, and those uttering such trash know it. That rationale -- along with many others -- only surfaced after we learned that the main argument, WMDs, was false. Remember that we went into Afghanistan to root out Al Qaeda. But today we know that Al Qaeda is no longer there. So we offer numerous other reasons for fighting there. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell March 17, 2010 @ 7:25 p.m.

There was a great scholar at UCSD, whose name escapes me at the moment, who declared correctly that, "War is organized theft."

Was the scholar Herbert Marcuse? He was violently opposed to the Vietnam war and advocated socialism from his pulpit at USCD. The San Diego Union attacked him relentlessly and drove him from USCD. After he died it was revealed that he was worth $10 million and owned shares in defense contractors, including Dow Chemical, the company that manufactured napalm during the Vietnam war.

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Burwell March 17, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.

I believe the big oil companies had divided up the Iraq oil lands before we invaded; that's why Cheney fought so hard to keep the records of those meetings with the oil companies secret.

Greenspan said in his book that he believes Bush invaded Iraq to seize control of the oil.

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David Dodd March 17, 2010 @ 8:37 p.m.

"Greenspan said in his book that he believes Bush invaded Iraq to seize control of the oil."

I think that Bush invaded Iraq to seize control of Iraq, not that it was unpleasant to cut off that supply of oil to unfriendly nations for a while, but I think that mostly it was what it was. Except, that I think you're seeing the end game played out right now, years later. I believe that the Bush administration gambled that if they had some control over Iraq and gave the impression that it had the power to affect change in the Middle East, then it would force the hand of the real perceived threat, which they felt was Iran. Not that I believe the invasion was justified - I don't. But I believe that was their primary reason.

I don't know to what extent the oil companies had a hand in this, but there's no doubt in my mind that they lobbied the Bush administration in order to gain great advantage in the conflict and occupation. One caveat that oil companies had less of a role that Greenspan believed? The amount of foreign oil companies that now profit from the invasion and occupation.

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Don Bauder March 17, 2010 @ 11:22 p.m.

Response to post #29: It was Jacob Bronowski, and I was wrong when I said he was a scholar at UCSD. He was at Salk Institute in the last few years of his life, and the TV documentary, Ascent of Man, was a classic. I was not in San Diego for the Marcuse disgrace. Yes, Copley Press was responsible greatly for that disgrace, as I understand it. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 17, 2010 @ 11:23 p.m.

Response to post #30: Greenspan also said in that book that he feared the huge and widening gap between rich and poor might lead to violence in the U.S. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 17, 2010 @ 11:29 p.m.

Response to post #31: I am tolerant of many opinions, but I don't know how anyone can say that the Iraq invasion was justified with what we know now. Even Rove has admitted that the invasion would never have taken place had we known there were not WMDs. Incidentally, I have on tape my own opinion on the matter at the time of the invasion. In March of 2003, right after I had retired from the U-T, I was interviewed by Gloria Penner on KPBS. In that broadcast I stated that the Iraq war, which I opposed, was all about oil. I still have that tape. Best, Don Bauder

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Russ Lewis March 17, 2010 @ 11:54 p.m.

(#32) Great series, Don -- what they used to call a "telecourse." I took it at Grossmont and have the book but don't recall that line.

What I wish PBS would rerun or release on DVD is Galbraith's Age of Uncertainty. I remember it for its phenomenal use of visuals and JKG's bone-dry wit. It made the history of economics go down real easy.

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David Dodd March 18, 2010 @ 1:17 a.m.

34: I stated that I didn't feel it was justified in that comment, Don, perhaps you misread it: "Not that I believe the invasion was justified - I don't." (End of 2nd paragraph). Or perhaps you weren't referring to me.

I posited my opinion as to what the Bush administration was up to on the second day after it started, I'm sure it's still on the internet somewhere, but I'd rather not look for it. I wrote that opinion of "why" (not agreeing with the premise, simply offering a reason that the administration would try and justify it) because a lot of people asked me about it. I'm certain that one reason was because they knew I have a son who would have to fight there (and he did, two deployments, luckily he is out now, safe and sound). Another reason was perhaps because of something I wrote about that invasion months before it happened that had nothing to do with the ideology of it, I had inside information that the invasion was certain. That piece is no longer available online.

In other words, I'm not saying that the Bush administration was incorrect about Iran's threat, simply that invading Iraq - in my opinion - was the wrong way to deal with it. I didn't state an opinion on it one way or another at the time, only that I hoped that our troops come home safe and sound. I did state that it was a huge gamble. People pressed me anyway and I declined. Many left my website after that, but not after calling me a Republican bastard that loved war. I said nothing in return but thought it unfair. I'm not a Republican.

I don't have much confidence in Rove's words, the entire bunch of them lied about everything. They still do. WMD's were used as a pretext. The only possible disagreement we have is how much of the invasion had to do with oil reserves.

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Psycholizard March 18, 2010 @ 3:05 a.m.

The oil argument was trotted out by Cheney, in the run up to war. He claimed that Iraqi oil would pay for the cost of the invasion. This blatant appeal to old time imperialist resource grabbing persuaded few, and alarmed many, so most of the war hucksters focused on WMD, and tried to link Saddam Hussein with the Islamic fanatics of 9-11. Imperialist resource grabbing, made more sense than those other absurd arguments, so many on the left feel it was the real reason for the war. But these were all mere excuses, designed to cover a more shocking truth.

The war was prosecuted by fanatics at war with reason itself. Denial of evolution is their rallying cry. The hysterical elected the unthinking Bush, the hysterical hated Saddam Hussein, their mass hysteria caused the war.

George W. Bush has one talent, he persuades the insane. Thinking people need this skill to stop the next war.

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Don Bauder March 18, 2010 @ 6:51 a.m.

Response to post #35: I understand the Bronowski and Galbraith series were excellent. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 18, 2010 @ 7 a.m.

Response to post #36: I understood fully that you did not think the invasion was necessary. I just went off on my own rant. I do think WMD was an artificial construct to whip public opinion into a war frenzy. Cheney and Bush concocted this deliberately to justify the invasion for an amoral reason: oil. That's my opinion, anyway. Why anyone listens to Cheney these days simply amazes me. At least Bush has had the sense to go hide. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 18, 2010 @ 7:04 a.m.

Response to post #37: That is a very, very interesting interpretation. Makes you wonder if democracy can survive in this anti-analytic era of mass hysteria. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 18, 2010 @ 1:22 p.m.

to 22

The local fanatics who fight for the Mt. Soledad Cross argue that this Cross is not an endorsement of religion in court, and that the US was always a Christian nation on the steps outside. The shout of conflicting beliefs identifies fanaticism for thinking people.

The court packers intend to replace thought with doublethink, and the rule of law with mob rule. The churl talks of Jesus, while the vile person grabs the money and land through favorable employment and property rulings that fly in reason's face. We will fight this battle to the end of days.

In fairness to the casual bigots that enforced the segregation of San Diego and erected the Cross, they defended segregation as law and order, and would be shocked by the hysterical Tea Party mob, as they were when the same strident fanatics ruled the streets in their hippy days. The cities champion was Richard Nixon, who was shockingly immoral, but no fool, and in the end initiated a reasonable end to the cold war, and signed important civil rights legislation that today's fanatics wish to overturn, when they fight for the Soledad Cross.

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Don Bauder March 18, 2010 @ 4:09 p.m.

Response to post #41: Some excellent environmental legislation was also passed during Nixon's presidency. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 19, 2010 @ 4:51 p.m.

to 41

Greed for oil caused the first Iraq war, Thatcher and Saddam agreed on this, but the second war was mostly anger and the hurt pride of the defeated, not cynicism, but fanaticism. The disaster started with the vilification of Saddam Hussein in the first war, and Bill Clinton's continuation after, or perhaps earlier with the vilification of Hitler in the Second World War.

A great villain helps unsophisticated soldiers fight, and perhaps is a useful weapon of war, because it focuses anger, not on the enemy country and it's people, but on the leadership. The reconstruction of Germany was made more merciful by the belief that the German people were slaves of an evil leadership. But nations make leaders, leaders don't make nations. Roosevelt and Clinton, and George Bush Senior, knew this, and used Saddam and Hitler to induce anger, but were not personally more angry than the nation they led, they fought nations, not leaders.

The problem with the good lie that Roosevelt encouraged, that nations are mere slaves of their leader, is that confused leaders might come to believe also, and jump to the head of the angry mob desiring war. With this confused mindset, they might believe that they actually led the nation to war, instead of realizing that they were chosen by an angry mob, to do angry things.

The Big Lie, that Saddam Hussein personally caused the problems in the Middle East, was article of faith for the Republicans, and widely believed. When the Republicans lost in 1992, and Saddam survived, hurt pride stoked the national anger. The talk radio said the war ended too soon, because we failed to kill him.

I used to call this thinking "ding dong diplomacy", the belief that if you poured water on the Wicked Witch of the Middle East, she would melt away, and her minions would arise and sing our praises. They were true believers in this, as was proven by their haphazard and bizarre war strategy.

They failed to force the surrender of the Iraqi army, they failed to secure the Iraqi weapon dumps Instead they concentrated on the purely political aims of finding WMDs and most importantly finding Saddam, Because they wasted so much effort and prestige in this useless pursuit, I credit them with true belief. Anger destroyed their reason, so they acted stupidly.

I hope there is no criminal trial of George W. Bush, because I think my Democratic Party can slide into fanatical hatred, and this would distract from the task at hand, fixing the nation that made him.

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Don Bauder March 19, 2010 @ 5:30 p.m.

Response to post #43: In the lead-up to Iraq, and in the invasion, our leaders not only acted stupidly. They acted dishonestly. They whipped the public into a jingoistic furor through information that almost certainly they knew was false. It was not a failure of intelligence. Our intelligence agencies took the bullet for the president and Cheney. Cheney completely twisted the findings of the agencies in his obsessive, insane desire to get into Iraq -- primarily for economic reasons, partly his own.

Sometimes jingoism gets a country into war. Certainly the public fury whipped up by the press was a major factor propelling us into the Spanish-American War. Also, there was a lot of jingoism prior to World War I. But that was not true with World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and both Iraq wars. World War II was a justifiable war; Roosevelt's maneuverings were probably justified, even as bloody as they were. Iraq I may have been justifiable. The other three wars could have been, and should have been, avoided. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 March 19, 2010 @ 7:31 p.m.

I believe the big oil companies had divided up the Iraq oil lands before we invaded; that's why Cheney fought so hard to keep the records of those meetings with the oil companies secret.

Greenspan said in his book that he believes Bush invaded Iraq to seize control of the oil.

There is NO DOUBT in my mimd the Iraq war was about taking control of the oil. There could be no other legit reason based on the facts.

Saddam had been doing the same thing from 1991 up until March 2003 when we invaded-nothing changed during that time perid-yet Bush et al. claimed WMD's in 2001...baloney, he was after oil.

No one believes the WMD Bush/Rove/Cheney nonsense-it is pretty clear that was a smoke screen for the oil.

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Don Bauder March 19, 2010 @ 10:15 p.m.

Response to post #45: TV stations and utubes should play over and over that George W. Bush TV speech in which he warned of a mushroom-shaped cloud. I believe he knew full well that there was little to no likelihood of that happening. Iraq had been blockaded. People were starving. The country didn't have money -- thanks greatly to the U.S.- controlled blockade. As you say, the development of WMDs was highly unlikely. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 20, 2010 @ 12:20 p.m.

Everyone lies, but those that believe their own lies are the most dangerous, because the spinning vortex they create, lie upon lie, sucks us into fanaticism and war. We first came to hate Saddam Hussein because he threatened our greed for oil. That hatred destroyed our reason, and we started a war with overwhelming force, only to be defeated. The greatest army, without reason, is defenseless.

We have a reasonable need for a steady supply of oil, that need caused the world to ally against Iraq in the first war. The thrill of that first war, and Republican humiliation from the 1992 defeat led us to the second. They remembered Bush Sr.'s great poll numbers during the war and their crash afterward, and decided that the war ended too soon. They decided to repeat exactly what they did, even to anointing a younger Bush, only this time the war would never end, and they hoped the support would never fade. This power grabbing scheme was undone by incompetence, Others have tried it, others will try it.

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Don Bauder March 20, 2010 @ 7:04 p.m.

Response to post #47: It's the sociopath who believes his own lies. That's why so many of them are such persuasive con men, and also why so many get elected to political office. The con man cons himself. I agree that one reason for the war was the belief it would enhance Bush II's political popularity. But the main reason was oil. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 20, 2010 @ 11:18 p.m.

Without that oil no war, we agree on this. What puzzles is why no deal was cut to sell that oil for over ten years of sanctions. Saddam was ready to sell. Oil companies were happy to buy the oil for food and smuggled oil, and cheated on the sanctions. I can't believe moral qualms prevented a deal. We bought Iraqi oil during 1988 while they perpetrated their worst atrocities.

My theory is that the national frenzy of Saddam bashing prevented our government from supporting the lift of sanctions, our oil companies therefore believed they would be banned from a post sanction Iraq, and supported the war to steal what they couldn't buy. I can't prove this now, but I expect some kiss and tell in the years ahead.

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Don Bauder March 21, 2010 @ 6:47 a.m.

Response to post #49: Another question is this: Saddam Hussein began doing what he announced he would do: selling his oil in euros, not dollars. Was that a factor in the attack? Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 21, 2010 @ 10:51 p.m.

Interesting. Did Iraq intend to peg oil to the euro? The Baathists were very sly sometimes. I wonder what final deal the Iraqis offered before the war? And whether anyone outside of the State Department even looked at it?

As for the crowds of fanatics we see on camera lately in Washington. We should remember that the camera loves maniacs, and maniacs love the camera, and that the Republican Party is not drunken, angry rabble. It plays one on TV though. There is a chance, that restored to power, the Republicans wouldn't go to war.

We shouldn't bet the country on it.

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Don Bauder March 22, 2010 @ 7 a.m.

Response to post #51: The Republicans are more jingoistic, and surreptitiously interested in fattening the purses of their defense contractor friends, but Democrats know the game: Obama is bolstering the U.S. presence in Afghanistan, a move that makes no sense. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 22, 2010 @ 1:06 p.m.

Afghanistan means something to Islamic fanatics, and in the psychological war we are engaged, is a central battle. Radical Islam believed this nation would be the heaven on earth that would inspire the world to prayer. Iraq as a beacon of liberty is our Christian fanatic equivalent. In an insane world declaring something nonsense is beside the the point. We have real interest in peace for Afghanistan, because of the meaning it has worldwide. When leaving means peace, let's leave.

I trust Obama on this. He is our best possible ambassador to the Islamic streets. When he speaks to the world i am proud of this nation, and it's ability to change it's mind, and produce great minds.

Bush made me ashamed.

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SurfPuppy619 March 22, 2010 @ 1:59 p.m.

I think Obama is by far the best shot we have at repairng our worldwide image.

Having said that-if he doesn't get off his fanny and fix the US economic engine within the next two years his goose is cooked. He won't be back.

With this recession being the worst in 80 years, it is easy to see it lasting another 2-3 years IMO. Not good.

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Don Bauder March 22, 2010 @ 2:44 p.m.

Response to post #53: Bush made me ashamed, too. And I was a registered Republican until 2004, although I did not vote for Bush. It was obvious he was a mental lightweight when he first emerged from Texas. He seldom comes out in public anymore, but when he does, it's a grim reminder of what we put up with. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 23, 2010 @ 1:35 a.m.

George W. is perhaps the greatest shill in history, providing a smiling trusted face to the shocking Enron and Neocon scams. He persuaded. Many still believe.

Yet he had a weird thought disorder that forced his sentences into the passive case, he almost always used the verb to be. "I am the decider" instead of "I decide". He seemed incapable of forming compound sentences, or understanding them in debate. But this was turned to his advantage, he seemed an everyman. The son of a president ran as a outsider, against the smart peoples fancy talk. Those short meaningless passive sentences won an election.

Americans prefer the cowboy to the city slicker, and the homespun philosopher to the scientist. That's why the Republican insiders selected Sarah Palin. Stupidity may well be an asset in presidential politics.

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Don Bauder March 23, 2010 @ 9:12 a.m.

Response to post #56: I am afraid you are right: stupidity is a political asset. Look at the vile creatures screaming racial and ethnic epithets at members of Congress at the time of the healthcare bill passage. Look at those in Congress shrieking epithets from the floor. Certain politicians are doing their best to appeal to the tea baggers. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 23, 2010 @ 12:16 p.m.

This fanaticism results from two Republican articles of faith shared with Marxism and radical Islam. That salvation proceeds from belief, not action, and that history is predestined. Once these principles are accepted, George W, seems a great leader. Followers knew he could not doubt, because he could not think. Failure was part of God's plan to bring us to the pure faith, the free market was not free enough, the monetarism marred by deficits, the torture not widespread enough, the judges not medieval enough.

Take heart, the modern world has defeated fanaticism repeatedly. Our founders commemorated the bloodless victory of the British 1688 revolution in our constitutional separation of church and state. They remembered the horrific stupidity of 17th century religious wars. We should too. We must firmly defend the law, but avoid needless provocation.

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Don Bauder March 23, 2010 @ 3:59 p.m.

Response to post #58: Taking things on faith is the opposite of thinking things through analytically. The former path leads to trouble. History proves that. The 17th century wars you cite are only part of the sordid story. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 24, 2010 @ 2:51 a.m.

Believers in God, Communism, free markets, social justice, whatever, cause most of the turmoil and progress in the world. All concerted action proceeds from belief. Resistance to that action is also from belief.

In this city there are pragmatists who believe they can make a lot of people rich. But true believers stand in their way, talking crazy ideas of "honest government", "rule of law" and "solvency". The pragmatists would laugh at them, but with their crazy "ideals" they won't take a bribe. So the pragmatists call them crazy.

Idealism without doubt leads to fanatical insanity, doubt of all ideals leads to a depressed hedonism. Somehow we've got to balance ourselves.

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Don Bauder March 24, 2010 @ 7:55 a.m.

Response to post #60: I question that the "pragmatists," as you describe them, want to make a lot of people rich. They want to make a handful of people rich (themselves), at the expense of a lot of people: the taxpayers. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 24, 2010 @ 7:23 p.m.

By "make a lot of people rich" I mean their friends and families. and those in on the scheme, that's everyone to them. They will also toss a bone from the table to construction workers and such. Thousands might benefit, but the downtown stadium is still an atrocity. If they planned to spend the same billion to fix our sewers and water supply, I would consider it.

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Don Bauder March 24, 2010 @ 11:01 p.m.

Response to post #62: As long as the establishment completely controls the San Diego government, taxpayers are doomed to be raped: the city will blow its money on downtown and residential development, and not on infrastructure, maintenance, and basic services. Best, Don Bauder

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fredjones2005 March 31, 2010 @ 4:05 p.m.

This group will raise a bunch of money and absolutely nothing will happen. This is a consultant rip off scheme. Joel Anderson is trying to create some credibility after getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Show up at a debate so we can ask about the money laundering scam.

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