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Saturday, October 8, 2011

License to assassinate

If you "take part in the war between the United States and Al Qaeda," you're overseas, and Obama unilaterally decides that "it is not feasible to capture" you, the government can just send a drone and kill you. Did we miss something -- is Alberto Gonzales still in charge?

Comments (44)

No, Holder is and you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Hell Jack, they can make you buy stuff you may not want like health insurance. In fact, it seems like the government can do anything they want and there is nothing you can do about it. Not a big leap to killing you if you piss them off and it suits them.

they can make you buy stuff you may not want like health insurance

That's a pretty shallow comparison to killing you.

They can make you buy stuff like war and streetcars, too. It's called taxation.

The terrible pity is that the recent struggle within the higher echelons of government and military on this issue was won by the doves. The hawks wanted to go after the foot soldiers of Allah in Somalia, but they only got permission to go after the leaders because of dovish hand-wringing.

Well, I wish the doves well in washing the blood off their hands. The most recent atrocity committed by the foot soldiers of Allah in Somalia was the suicide bombing of 100 university-level students, which was pretty much the whole population of university level students in Somalia.

Somehow, I think the doves will not notice the blood, they will merely hallucinate its absence, in a reverse-Lady Macbeth collective dovish brain fart.

This could get really messy, fomenting retaliation against US officials also not on the battlefield.

you're overseas,

How long before the government declares, say, Portland to be "overseas"?

Despite all the ramblings about Obama being a socialist, he has never been liberal. He has always been a moderate, so I'm not surprised. In fact in some things he is quite conservative.

"It is thought he was inspired by Awlaki."

A quote from the UK Guardian regarding Portland's own Christmas tree bomber. I wonder how the mail about Awlaki would be running had the Christmas tree bomber been able to accomplish what he thought he would be accomplishing.

Awlaki's best chance for not getting whacked would have been to stay home. He placed himself on the battlefield, homegrown or not, as an enemy combatant.

You get the death penalty now for "inspiring" people? This country is really in the toilet.

It's quaint to hear a discussion of the right of a president to kill an American citizen. President Bush already asserted his legal authority to detain any American here or abroad, and execute him or her as part of his sweeping national security powers years ago.

There's a little list of these nostalgic old debates that are a throwback to Constitutional times.

Remember 3 branches of government? The legislative, the executive and the judicial, wasn't it? Ahh, those were the days.

I sort of feel sorry for the forefathers though. It was awfully hard to set up a system of checks and balances, and Bush/Cheney did all they could to destroy it. Meanwhile Obama - the professor of the Constitution - has not only embraced Bush and Cheney's attempts to circumvent our laws, but many critics feel he's expanded the powers of the dictator/king. I mean what was Libya? Presidents can now attack any place they want for as long as they want, and we don't even sweat it anymore.

Hey, remember when we used to get mad if the government invaded our privacy? Wasn't that a hoot? The idea of communicating on a phone or through email or by old fashioned letter came with an assumption that the government would need a court order to look. How times change.

Then there were all the signing statements basically turning Congress into an irrelevant little theater troupe. "Look, we're passing laws!" The president would sign them in the Rose Garden and then go back inside and write a signing statement saying the law was going to be ignored. What sneaky little devils men in power can become!

My personal favorite - and forgive me for getting a little nostalgic here - was when Dick Cheney would say he was in the executive branch one day and the legislative the next, as president of the Senate, depending on what part of our laws he was trying to avoid. Nobody fought to ignore limits on power like Cheney. Nobody.

Ahh, the memories. Sometimes on nights like these when I hear people worrying about authoritarian rule, I get a little misty. It's been quite a few years since the changes, but I still really miss the United States of America. I've got to work on that.

I used the foiled Christmas bombing attempt because it would have hit close to home, but that was only one in a long list of troublesome Awlaki extracurricular activities.

I understand the slippery-slope concerns about civil liberties. I also know that presidents have intelligence about terror principals that the public does not have. I feel President Obama's actions were warranted, and don't feel any less free for having Awlaki out of circulation.

Wow, it only took seven posts before there was a reference to Obama's policy being blamed on the right wing.

How about this:

Bush's or Cheney's idea or not, I thought Obama was all about transparency and Hope and Change and all that. I missed that campaign speech when he suggested secret kill panels and confidential legal memos intended to justify killing a U.S. citizen. If he had half the integrity he promised, this would have never happened.

That's a pretty shallow comparison to killing you.

My point was that they can and do whatever they want and there isn't a thing we can do about it.

Mike (the other one)
Did you see where Cheney said that President Obama owes the Bush administration an apology because he criticized their tactics and then used them himself?

Young politicians should study that move. That is how it's done. You come into office and stay for 8 years, and when it's over America is basically in shambles. Then you ask for an apology for how you were treated.

Cheney's heart may no longer pump, but he's still got a working set of balls.

Like an armed robber leaving the bank with hostages. The robber, in essence, has declared himself an enemy of the state. The robber is clearly a danger to others. There will be no trial if the chance to shoot him arises before he harms others. The reason he will die without a trial is because his actions pose an immediate threat to those around him.

So can a terrorist with an intent to harm us become such an imminent threat that we kill him first to protect others? Do his actions alone to plan attacks create such a grave concern for our safety that he has given up his right to trial?

I read the aruments here, and I agree with the concern. I just think if you happen to be the one in charge, Obama or anyone else for that matter, it gets to be a pretty tough call. Not as constitutionally clear for many Americans as posts here would have one believe. This decision, weighed against the obvious political backlash that would follow, would not have been an easy one for the one making the call.

an immediate threat to those around him

That's the slippery slope on which our liberties are being lost.

The terrorists have most definitely won.

"Obama - the professor of the Constitution - has not only embraced Bush and Cheney's attempts to circumvent our laws, but many critics feel he's expanded the powers of the dictator/king."

Virtually everyone knows Obama has continued or expanded most of the same policies that caused every left wing protest to include signs about GITMO, wiretapping, shredding the constitution, lost rights, and calls for indictments for murder.

If Bush were President Occupy Portland would have had a full display of signage.

How is it possible for Obama to do all the same things and there's not one similar sign or mention by anyone on the left?

Let's see, as a citizen, I should stand up to defend America, not plot to destroy it by violent means. Right? This s******g was no longer acting like an American and gave up his citizenship when he decided to plot to violently destroy America. Obama did good. He order the leader of a terrorist organization to be attacked and successfully killed him. Works for me! Just don't blame Bush, this purely Obama's decision. God Bless America!

You're missing the point of authoritarian rule. You don't have to list a series of reasons why you pulled the trigger. President Bush established and President Obama clearly embraces, the national security threshold. All Bush said he had to do was think you were a threat to national security and that was enough to kill an American legally.
Why are you bothering with the anti-Macbeth brain fart business? It's clear and we've seen it before.

I remember reading that the King of England was riding to London one day. I think it was Charles - I read this decades okay. Anyway, he pulled his carriage over and there was a little problem with a local citizen and the King had him executed on the spot. This was before due process and the rule of law.

That's how it used to be and that is what we've regressed to. Bush's Doctrine of Preemptive Strikes is another example: Any time the President says he or she thinks you might be planning to do something in the future, the President can attack. We've seen that before, and it was called the Law of the Jungle.

What you need to do is apply these principles to people who are not Muslims and see how they play. I think you see Muslims as the enemy and that distorts your thinking. Always try out the powers for how they would affect the people you love most - not the ones you hate.

I used to say on my old cable access show, "Sure, you right wingers don't object now, because Bush and Cheney are your guys, but what happens if Hillary gets elected. Do you want Hillary to have these powers?" We always went with Hillary as an example because Barack was an unknown then.

I think we were better off when we didn't have authoritarian rule. I thought the rule of law was the better way to go.

Oh, and Ben, I know it's aggravating not seeing the left criticize President Obama as much as they would have Bush, but hearing the right wing howl about Presidential abuse of the Constitution now is pretty aggravating too. We could have used some of that anger and protest when Bush and Cheney were using the Constitution for toilet paper.

Obama behaves just like Bush.

Protesters don't.


Why has Gunwalker not been remarked? We armed the villains who murdered two Americans (at the least) and a bunch of Mexicans.

Our Justice Department via the ATF with the cooperation and knowledge off the White House ordered guns be sold to foreign narcos who in turn murdered a lot of people with them.

Or, did something else happen there?


"King had him executed on the spot. This was before due process and the rule of law.That's how it used to be and that is what we've regressed to"

Nothing relating to the war on terrorism or indicated by the rare Brandon Mayfield episode comes even remotely close to regressing to where you claim we have.

I'm curious as to what purpose is there in your taking such a gargantuan leap in making such a claim.

You can't honestly believe the country under either Bush or Obama has regressed to a King's random execution of a citizen.

So you either believe Drones attacking a known terrorist is the same thing or you have some yet to be determined objective in making such a dramatic and wrong statement.

It's not "aggravating" not seeing the left criticize President Obama as much as they would have Bush".
It's instructive and demonstrative of the left's illegitimacy when they were launching the extensive salvos against Bush and Cheney.
And zero now against Obama.

Is it your contention, or aggravation, that the right should have joined the way out of scale alarms then?
As example, that the embellishing pandamonium over the Mayfield case needed the right to help cast it as it wasn't?

IMO risks to the Constitution are being derived from our goverment that is so dysfunctional it doesn't mater who is elected.
It is unmanagemable and out of control with no remedy becasue people too busy squabbling will not provide an adequate uprising.

Not unlike the local combination of TriMet, PDC, Metro and alike.

So as the constitition may be someday in tatters it will be long after we've crossed many other tipping points of our demise.

I think looking local is the best measurement of where we may be heading.

Gibby, I think I combined your comment with Gaye's. My sincere apologies to both of you.
It's called cognitive decline.

Bill, combining my comments with Gaye's post would be a plus for me so no need for apologies. I find her comments (often enough) to be strong, thoughtful, and intelligent.

I have say that you are making Ben's argument look pretty strong here however. The king in his cart executing the innocents? Please my friend, you can do better than that.

A~B therefore B=C??????

Better yet: A~B, C~D, CB, Therefore D=A

The left was stumbling all over itself to persecute Bush/Chaney throwing everything it could make up or speculate about. The evil leaders should go to jail. But after observing this regimes exploits I have to say where the hell are the pitchforks and torches now? Where are the protests over the two plus wars? Where are the impeachment attorneys salivating all over their law books? If any body should do jail time of our recent leadership my belief is it should be this one. So many anecdotal examples of the disregard of legal process or constitutional rights violations it is mind boggling. Here is an article fro the NY times that is pretty good but just disregard it's bias and determine the facts on your own.

Virtually everyone knows Obama has continued or expanded most of the same policies that caused every left wing protest to include signs about GITMO, wiretapping, shredding the constitution, lost rights, and calls for indictments for murder.

Not so. Over the weekend, there was a protest in the Air & Space Museum over a drone exhibit. Instead of protesting an exhibit at the Air & Space Museum, they should have protested in front of this place called the White House because the current occupant of it is the one calling the shots about predator drone strikes.

Those protestors obviously didn't get the memo about Obama.

Been to DC lately? It's intimidating anymore to even get near it, much less hold a protest.

Yes - I believe you can still protest on the Mall, near the White House, and in front of the Capitol.

In DC, the meanest dudes I've seen lately are the security at the Fed. They patrol automatic weapons drawn and ready, angled downward, which of course is where we were walking just below the retaining wall. Tried to get dude to smile, failed, as did my five year old.

The Smithsonians and momuments got automatic weapon carrying, bullet proof vest wearing, muscle flexing security hiding behind ever corner. The Potomac is teaming with zodiak boats - DC Police and Coast Guard. The best video shot of the last couple months was during the August earthquake when about a dozen dudes appeared out of nowhere on roof of the White House to investigate the source of the shake.

The Occupy protestors are insolent brats for cutting into the fun of the thousands of tourists and kids who wanted to do nothing more than take in an IMAX, check out vintage aircraft, inspect a moon rock or space capsule, or snarf down some freeze dried neopolitan ice cream in the Air and Space cafeteria. If it is the drone decision they objected to then they ought to have trekked down to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave where the Secret Service would have been happy to promptly arrest them the first time they crossed the line.

Where are the protests over the two plus wars?

I have wondered that myself. We haven't had a big anti-war protest since Hope and Change was elected. But the same crap is all still happening. Do they not care any more?

But hey, it's not like his Attny Gen allowed several thousand military grade weapons to be sold to the most murderous drug cartels in Mexico.


Yeah I expected some
Fast and Furious Prosecutions
signs at Occupy Portland.

Imagine how worked over that scandal would have been by now had it been the Cowboy Bush. :)

OK Bill,

I won't be called a hater of Muslims, even by you on an online forum, without a carefully worded reply.

Here's your statement: "What you need to do is apply these principles to people who are not Muslims and see how they play. I think you see Muslims as the enemy and that distorts your thinking. Always try out the powers for how they would affect the people you love most - not the ones you hate."

I don't hate Muslims. The majority of Muslims are victims of a supremacist and hegemonistic ideology. In 1939, noone hated Germans generically, but Nazis held a supremacist ideology that was a danger to the civilized world. As did the kamikaze Japanese, beholden to a Shinto supremacist ideology. As did the Roman Catholics who made cinder of so many creatures of God. Do I hate Christians, do I hate God, because of the Catholic group psychosis problem of the fifteenth century? No. And I do not hate Muslims. On the contrary, I root hard for every single Muslim victim in the world, and wish for nothing more than their emancipation from the supremacist tradition, that, yes, Bill, is a clear and present danger to every human creature on the earth (as well as to dogs and pigs and the music you claim to love so much). When I read about a bunch of dead university and medical students in Somalia, I do feel something like hate, Bill, for the utter complacency about the situation of these victims, on the part of so many people who live in wealthy, secure societies. People who seem more worked up about whether their emails might be being read by the FBI, say, than about whether a bunch of schoolgirls just got blinded with acid on their way to school in Afghanistan.

Bill, if you really love music, or even if you love Muslims, you would agree that no liberal hand-wringing should get in the way of an implacable campaign to neutralize the organizers of the suicide bomb machine. (And that means killing them extra-judicially, as part and parcel of a war strategy, because we just plain don't have the resources to bring them all to trial in the US, where, after all, a jury once found OJ Simpson innocent).

By the way, Bill, did you know that it is forbidden for Muslim women to laugh in public? Even that music would be snuffed out by the Wahhabis. Maybe they didn't tell you about that in your time in Saudi. I bet your parents never took you down for a beheading at Chop-Chop square, or a lapidation of an accused adulteress in the village square, either, during your time there..

Carry on hand-wringing about the realities our country is facing, realities that are forcing through these uncomfortable policies. And I will continue hand-wringing about the daily death toll from the suicide bomb machine, courtesy of the protectors of the Kaaba.

Forgive me if I misinterpreted your comments about Muslims to mean you hate them. It was just an impression I got, and I'm glad you've cleared that up.

Do you think we're winning the so-called War on Terror or do you think our presence in the region is making things worse?
It's possible to want the things you want without believing they'll be accomplished by dropping thousands of tons of depleted uranium on the Middle East.
Oh wait, that's a moral equivalency argument. That's equating what we do when we torture people and kill kids to what the terrorists do when they torture people and kill kids. That would be an apology tour.
But let's not quibble: Do you think these aggressive warmongering ways, including the longest war in our history is helping diffuse the suicide bomber situation or create more of them? Are we getting the results you want in the Middle East? If not, do you have any idea how much longer it will take?

Finally, do you really believe what we're trying to do with our foreign policy is make the world safer for Muslims, or could it be some other reason that we're there?

We are there to secure energy supplies, to prevent the annihilation of Israel, and to neutralize the organizations that might bring another 9/11, or 7/7, or London subway bombing to the shores of the developed democracies of the world. And we are there for the long run, because without this effort, we would never develop the drone and espionage innovations we need to keep the world moving in a direction of freedom from terrorism. As for depleted uranium, our efforts in Iraq may well pay off for Iraqis, who are set to become wealthy, now that their oil production capabilities have been bolstered and markets have opened to them. Whether or not they can continue to contain the specter of sectarian war amongst themselves remains to be seen.

Afghanistan is another story. We never took it seriously enough, rather like our strategy in Vietnam, only Vietnam was never a cause worth fighting for. The left really helped screw our Afghan strategy up. We are wasting the opportunity we created to eliminate the Taliban, and under Obama's leadership, we have even opened ourselves up to negotiating a political solution with them. These are the people who blew up the Bamiyan Buddhas. These are not the IRA, the ETA, the PKK, all groups with legitimate political beefs who are f***** up enough to throw bombs around. No, the Taliban have a singularly non-legitimate beef- the destruction of civilization and the imposition of theocracy. And we are NEGOTIATING with these people? All I can hope is that it is a ploy, a charade, to keep time passing while we take out as many of their ilk as possible through targeted strikes.

Do I think that an aggressive campaign against Muslim militant encampments around the world will disrupt the suicide bomb machine? Emphatically, YES. Do I think the doves are an impediment to the ferocity that is needed to, say, take out al-Shabab in Somalia? Yes. And lots of Somalis would agree.

And lots of Pakistanis would agree; recent estimates put the numbers of terrorism victims at 19K over the past 8 years, including the recent slaughter of 80-plus newly graduated special forces troops trained by our SEALs.

I woke up thinking of a way to clarify my remarks, Gaye. Would you concede that you're not a big fan of the religion of Islam to the point of hating Sharia law, etc...? You describe Muslims as being victims, and don't you mean victims of Islam? There is a direct connection in your comments between the religion and the many horrible examples you include in your comments, right? I know I didn't miss that part. You hate Islam, right? If not just say, "I don't hate Sharia law, I just hate suicide bombers." I dare you.

At this point, I should disclose that I'm a devout believer in the teachings of Bill Maher, as he laid out in his groundbreaking movie "Religulous" in which he seeks to point out how ridiculous all religions are. I actually was one of the few that went to the movie theater for that, and believe strongly that it was the Best Documentary of the Year - maybe the decade - but it had no chance to be nominated because of its content.

Okay, now lets look at what's scary about religion: It even supersedes in many instances the love between a parent and a daughter or son. That's how strong this stuff is. A mother or father will turn their backs on a kid based on religious beliefs and cut them loose. That scares me.

If you hold your religion closer to your identity than your own family, it is - in your mind anyway - part of your core identity. People don't say, "I belong to the Christian faith." They say, "I am a Christian. What I am is Christian." Just last week Sarah Plain said she acknowledged God, family and country in that order. God comes first before your own family. If God tells you to kill your son with a knife, you prepare to sacrifice your son with a knife. That's the story of Abraham.

Okay, you can do all the hand-wringing you want trying to nuance your distinction between hating a religion and hating the "victims" of the religion, but logically you know you're in trouble. That's why you rush to introduce the Nazi comparison by paragraph 3. You do know about Godwin's Law, right? Not God's Law...Godwin's Law.

The delicious irony is that when you trip all over yourself,
trying to distinguish between hating Islam and hating Muslims, you sound exactly like a hand-wringing liberal. You sound like John Kerry being for something before you were against it.

But if you told a Christian that you hate his or her religion, they would take it personally. They would consider your remarks as an expression of hatred towards them, because in a core identity sense, their religion is who they are.

That's why I said you should pick out the people you love and see how your statements play with them. It's easy to hate the Muslims. That's what we're being programmed to do. That's the bill of goods we've been sold to justify our military adventures in the Persian Gulf.

I'm sure you're all psyched to attack Iran now too, but take a few minutes and read the history of how the fundamentalists swept back into power. Go back to what happened in the 1950s and read a little bit. We've been chasing our own mistakes in the Middle East for decades, and all you seem to be saying is, "Gosh, we're wonderful and they're so bad."

If you think we went into Iraq because we couldn't stand how Saddam treated his people, you're being hopelessly naive.
Saddam used to work for us. Many of the atrocities that he committed were with weapons we sold him. If you think we went into Libya primarily because we wanted to help the freedom fighters, you should look there again, too.

I think one of the leading causes of terrorism is despair. Taking states like Iraq and breaking them, is going to lead to more despair. Your description of how we've helped Iraq, would be - if it wasn't such a serious subject - laugh out loud funny.

I hate a lot of the same things that happen in the Middle East that you hate. My best friend was killed by terrorists. I know about this stuff. But your selective examination of the violence and outrageous justice system there, comes across as propaganda because you never mention the atrocities that we've committed. Somehow the good old USA gets a license to kill. Is it because God's on our side?

Very interesting that you like Bill Maher. In the segment on his show that I link to below, he articulates perfectly the particular, poisonous pestilence of the religion problem, which he states clearly, in the current era, is unique to Islam. And Maher calls it out exactly- Islam has piercing, resounding, and repeated calls to violence encoded in its holy books, that no amount of obfuscation, moral quibbling or dribbling or relativist equivocation can possibly ever cover up, and which are in NO WAY comparable to passages in any other holy books.

What I would say is that it's perfectly OK to put your religion first before family, as long as your religion doesn't instruct you to strap on an explosive vest to kill your perceived enemies of your religion, and as long as your co-religionists don't pass around the hat and provide lifetime financial support to your family, while you enjoy your harem in the sky.

And Bill, if you haven't read the Koran and Hadeeth yet, I think you should, although you will need anti-reflux medication handy.
You could also watch Geert Wilders' film, Fitna, linked below, which has enough of the Koranic verses to drive Maher's point home about the language therein. You may need more than anti-reflux medication to watch it, however. Propaganda? Um, I don't think so.

Propaganda. This isn't about helping Muslims, and you know it. Oh, and you must not have seen Bill Maher's movie either.

Here's what I wrote, Gaye:

"At this point, I should disclose that I'm a devout believer in the teachings of Bill Maher, as he laid out in his groundbreaking movie "Religulous" in which he seeks to point out how ridiculous all religions are."

Getting some clip that reenforces the one-sided nature of your point of view is exactly what I'm talking about.

You're a propagandist and if you're going to do that you should up your game a little. You're being too transparent and it's not working. I was actually trying to be funny with the "devout believer" in Bill Maher's movie so as a comedy writer, maybe I should up my game a little too.

I think putting your religion ahead of your family is ridiculous. Why? Because you can see your children and your parents, but you only have faith that your religion is real. I think it's a flaw in our species how easily we can be duped into religious points of view. I really do. Then we get the thing about certain places being holy, so we have to kill over those. It's frightening.

Bill Maher spends a lot of time examining - for instance - the long history of earlier religions that have strong elements in their stories that mirror Christianity, almost as if the whole thing evolved the way folklore evolves. That was fascinating.

I'm scared of religions. I admit it. Nobody had to tell you to believe in the love of your family. You didn't have to be instructed from an early age as you do with religion. I think it's heartbreaking when some young girl is subjected to punishment anywhere based on religious teachings and her parents sell her out. I can't stand that kind of thing.

Incidentally, if you really knew about the Middle East you would use the term "heartbreaking" a lot more. You use "hand-wringing" a lot, and that's a clue about your true emotional commitment to saving the Muslims from themselves. I see your work more as designed to turn public opinion against the Arabs of the Middle East. That's how it reads to me. I think the not-so-subtle message is, "We've got to attack these people because they're bad."

You never really go after anyone else, do you?

There's no hand-wringing about Tibet is there?

Yeah, well no other religionists make it a religious practice to surgically destroy their women's ability to enjoy sex. No other religion makes two and three year old girls wear scarves and recite anti-Semitic Koranic precepts. Maybe these points will help fine-tune your psychoanalyzing/snooping of my "real" motives. Maybe I should cast aspersions in your direction and suggest that women being treated like chattel doesn't appear to really offend you enough, but you know, I try to give other people's psyches a little room for doubt.

So sorry that I can no longer weep for the blog-stage, because at some point, tears inevitably must give way to a cooler, dryer state, (ie, outrage), about what this religion is doing to women and children and boys and men. Because tears are not going to help them. Spreading information about what is happening to them has a better chance of doing so.

If that's propaganda, I will wear the badge proudly.

The propaganda part is pretending every violent act in the Middle East is driven by religious beliefs. When a father is holding his dead child - killed by phosphorous weapons that eat flesh right to the bone - he is not necessarily angry at us because of the Koran.

But why even consider for a moment that we could have had something to do with provoking their outrage, when you're selling a simple story of a religion that turns people violent?

Your way absolves us. In fact, we're doing something right because their religion is making them want to kill us so we have to attack them first. Nice.

But it's B.S. Morally bankrupt, simplistic B.S. We have given the Middle East plenty of reasons to be angry with us. In fact, if they had come here and done to us what we've done to them, even a terrific person like yourself could snap and say, "I don't care if I die. I just want to hurt these people who've hurt us so badly." That's how terrorism starts.

To be fair, your way is so much more beautiful than earlier examples of the B.S. Remember, "They hate us for our freedom"? That was another crock. Do you remember reading after 1776 that the Middle East came here to kill us because they just couldn't stand how free we were?

Can you believe the arrogance? "They're not upset because we invaded their country and killed hundreds of thousands of them - no way. They didn't mind that. They just can't handle how wonderful we are. That's it. They're jealous of us."

But that suggestion is flawed because it tries to explain the element that genuinely hates us - it introduces us into the equation. We don't want to go there. In fact, rational discourse on this subject is basically forbidden in America. So I know I'm wasting my time. I see your comments and I always resist taking you on because it is the definition of pointless. It is counterproductive, because you are pushing a one-sided agenda and that's what's behind this - not any kind of real discussion.

Your way though is pretty good. Your propaganda that the Middle East is being driven by an evil religion and we are the collateral damage as they express their religion through violence? That's good stuff. One question: Why isn't it directed at South America? Why us? Just bad luck? Maybe they were throwing darts at a map, and we just happened to be the ones who got picked.

It must be fun feeling so innocent. Look, most people there are like most people here. They don't really follow the Koran anywhere close to the letter and our people don't really follow the Bible either. There's stuff in the Bible nobody follows and thank God for that. Most people there are like us. They're dealing with their lives and they just try to live in peace.

Your portrayal of the Middle East is propaganda. Self-serving, self-righteous propaganda.

P.S. These pathetic attempts to say it's because I don't feel bad enough about what happens to women in this religion, say all I need to hear about you. Little comments like, "this music that you claim to love" say it too. My, you get snarky when someone calls you on your B.S., don't you? That's another sign that deep down inside you know what you're really doing.

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands,
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

It is impossible to say just what I mean!

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
For I have known them all already, known them all: —
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.

So how should I presume?

I grow old ... I grow old ...
Do I dare to eat a peach?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all —
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?

And how should I presume?

-TS Eliot


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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