Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Vote: Pragmatism, Principle, or Petulance?

On Tuesday, November 4th, there will be an election for the American Presidency--and, more importantly, for the future of the nation itself.

Looking back on recent history, it is obvious that we as a nation survived the Clinton administration, and are surviving the administration of George W. Bush. With the dark times of the Clinton era and the vacillations of the GWB era as reference points, I believe that the United States would've survived a Kerry administration. Or a Dukakis administration. Or even (and these are frightening words to type) a Gore administration.

I do not believe that the United States of America will survive a Barack Obama administration. That is to say, survive an Obama administration as a representative republic guided by the United States Constitution.

Barack Obama is that most dangerous of individuals--a dilettante. Some time at a pseudo-Christian church and, suddenly, he's a theologian. A trip to Europe, and he's a foreign policy expert. Less than six months' actual experience in the U.S. Senate, and he's Presidential.

An Obama administration, it is clear, would attack fundamental Constitutional rights, as his recent Second Amendment comments made clear. With his selection of renowned plagiarist (stealing from RFK and Kinnock), bigot (remember "clean" and "articulate"?), and comedian Joe Biden as running mate, Obama has shown that "Change we can believe in" starts with suggesting a denizen of the seamier portions of the Beltway would make a dandy Vice-President.

(Yes, I referred to Joe Biden as a "comedian." Don't you remember his favorite joke about Rudy Giuliani? "There's only three things he mentions in a sentence--a noun, and a verb, and 9/11. I mean, there's nothing else." Bah-dum-bump. Get it? Terrorist attacks are punch lines to Biden.)

Obama has developed, and is developing, a cult of personality. In the literal, technical sense. Problem is, apart from a TelePrompTer, he doesn't have much personality, or terribly much to say. The nation cannot afford the devastation that will come from giving Barack Obama real political power.

But what of John McCain? As a Christian, I am stopped short by a man who declares he's a Christian, yet specifically insists he is not "born again." Even some non-Christians are familiar with Christ's own words in John 3:7, "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." No option there. While George W. Bush has erased any theological sophistication we might have hoped for him by suggesting that Islam is a viable religion, McCain has gone a step further. He is as guilty of cherry-picking the Bible as is Barack Obama.

Now, I understand that there were many "Christian" moments during McCain's imprisonment in a North Vietnamese P.O.W. camp, but here's the question. If they were transcendent examples of personal faith in Jesus Christ, rather than episodes that were exclusively emotional, would McCain not adhere to the teachings of Christ as revealed in Scripture?

McCain attends a Baptist church, yet refused to be baptized by immersion. He considers Islam "honorable." He generally avoids discussing personal faith in Christ, defaulting to mentions of a "higher power" rather than specifically mentioning Christ or Christianity.

One of the motivating factors in George W. Bush's election, and re-election, was the notion that Christians could vote for a fellow Christian to serve in the office of President. As with the miserable administration of Jimmy Carter, we have seen that candidates' professions of faith in Christ have failed to consistently translate into solid leadership. But in the 2008 election, neither of the two major-party candidates gives any tangible evidence of being a Bible-believing, Christ-honoring, twice-born child of God.

So how should we vote?

There are three popular answers. First, there is the notion of "pragmatism"--that we vote for the "lesser of the two evils." Or, more properly, we vote for the major-party candidate whose victory would prevent the less desirable major-party candidate from being elected. Second, there is the notion of "principle"--that we vote for a candidate regardless of that candidate's chances of being elected; this notion opens up the potential of casting votes for individuals such as Bob Barr and Ralph Nader. And third, there is what I call (and which works for alliterative purposes) the notion of "petulance"--that we refuse to vote for any candidate who fails to meet a remarkably high standard for the office of the Presidency.

For a good while, I have considered that the third option might be the best; after much prayer, thought, and research, I have concluded that the third option is, indeed, petulance. Books are being written that, at face value, suggest that refusing to vote in this election is a reasoned, supposedly Biblical stand. It is the civic equivalent of holding one's breath until one's face turns blue; it mistakenly presumes that there can be, or will be, a "perfect" candidate.

It has been widely proclaimed that a vote for John McCain will dilute the Republican Party, and that those who might normally vote Republican should abstain, in the hopes that the party can regroup for the 2012 election. Unfortunately, this is a partisan line of thinking, one as bad as the standard Democrat mindset of "party over country." Realistically, the Republican Party was diluted in 2000 with so-called "compassionate conservatism," in 1996 with "owing" a nomination to an unelectable candidate, and even in 1990 with the abandonment of a no-new-taxes vow. The Republican Party was heavily damaged long before John McCain backed into the nomination, and it is hubris to think that abstention from voting will translate into persuasion of the G.O.P. power structure.

Considering a principled vote is not, on its face, a bad idea. That is, until you consider what principle is actually at play. If the goal is influence, then the principle of influencing a vote requires a vote for a presidential candidate with a realistic chance to win an election--providing that candidate doesn't have destroying the country as a chief end. When a principled vote becomes a Quixotic one, then it is ultimately wasted.

So what are we left with? Pragmatism? Well, it isn't as though we're left with it, since we never strayed from it in the first place. Votes, as a matter of course, are exercises in pragmatism. We vote on things every day, though perhaps not generally with the import of a vote for President. But we do vote, on everything from clothing choices to commuting routes to what we'll have for lunch. Rarely, if ever, is there a perfect choice in any vote; it is pretense to suggest otherwise. When we vote, we make the best available choice from a given field of possibilities. Why should the vote for President be viewed any differently?

The most succinct expression of this line of thought is from radio commentator, author, and cultural activist Janet Folger. With regard to voting for the lesser of two evils, I quote her thusly and like so, "Until Jesus Christ's name appears on the ballot, that's exactly what we do in every vote."

Please, when Tuesday, November 4th arrives, do not be petulant. Please do not believe yourself to be voting on principle by wasting your vote's influence. Take the time to make the best choice from the available field.

The best available choice is John McCain.

--Mike

EDITED TO ADD: The addition, on the morning of August 29th, of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate was, simply, brilliant. It makes voting for McCain a much, much easier prospect.

84 comments:

Tracy Eakes said...

John McCain? I thought it was John McClain from those "Die Hard" movies. Anyway, right on Mr. Bratton.
Tracy Eakes

Shane "George" Lambert said...

Great post! The best argument I've seen yet for voting for the lesser of two bad choices. Thanks!

Memphis said...

From the time Barack Obama was sworn in as a United State Senator, to the time he announced he was forming a Presidential exploratory committee, he logged 143 days of experience in the Senate. That's how many days the Senate was actually in session and working.
After 143 days of work experience, Obama believed he was ready to be Commander In Chief, Leader of the Free World, and fill the shoes of Abraham Lincoln, FDR, JFK and Ronald Reagan.

In contrast, John McCain's 26 years in Congress, 22 years of military service including 1,966 days in captivity as a POW in Hanoi now seem more impressive than ever.

David said...

May I respectfully ask...

I move in conservative circles. I vote pretty conservative on moral issues. I keep hearing people in the circles I move in talk about Obama not being "experienced." I think : Seriously, we are looking for some other job out there that will get you ready to lead a nation?

My choice has nothing to do with experience, it's about values.

But shouldn't we be careful on this argument, Christians? Our movement was not started by the best qualified, but because they believed the best. The Holy Spirit can use a Gideon.

maybejustmaybe said...

For what it's worth, I'm beginning to think that Obama will be elected despite what we say in our best arguments. I've been watching the DNC this week, and it's not so much that I'm swayed into the liberal camp as it is that the rhetoric convinces me that this is the preponderance of public opinion. From an historical perspective, as well, I am afraid that it is "time," just as it might have also been "time" for Hillary had things unfolded differently in the primary run.

Of course, my background tells me that when I watch Perry Mason, I'm always convinced that Hamilton Burger has a case until Perry has his shot at rebuttal. It will be interesting to see if the Republic convention regains any much-needed momentum in Minnesota.

What an interesting election year (which, in comparison to the last few, is a refreshing change in and of itself)! I am just very concerned that the gravity of the issues and what faces America with Obama at its helm is getting lost in the hoopla.

Mike - thanks for your brilliant analysis. It's the best I've seen yet.

MJM

EnglishProf said...

What an insightful look at the political situation we find ourselves in. I just do not have it in me not to vote. It is such an important right that far too many people don't exercise. So I agree with your logical thinking about how conservative Christians ought to approach the Nov. election.
Let's remember as I heard the awesome David Platt say in a sermon last night: "Our hope is not in any poltician. It is in Jesus Christ."

Mike Bratton said...

"But shouldn't we be careful on this argument, Christians? Our movement was not started by the best qualified, but because they believed the best. The Holy Spirit can use a Gideon."

If I may, David, our movement was started by the best equipped individuals, which made them the best qualified. The presence of God the Holy Spirit is the ultimate equipment, if you will.

Hope I'm not putting too fine a point on it, but I think we're of a like mind on this.

--Mike

P.S.: I praise God for all the kind words. Tell your friends.

Cakes said...

First, there was nothing wrong with the idea of "compassionate conservatism" except that it was as thin as a bumper sticker; I wish their had been more compassion coming from the Bush Administrationa--instead of a cocktail of hubris, denial and 3-Stooges-style governance.

To review, cherry-pickinjg intelligence and fomenting fears about Iraq after 9-11 to launch an unfounded preemptive strike and its meatgrinder ever since--is why I cannot support Republicans. I believe the administration wanted a war and would stop at nothing to get their war--that, coming from a bunch of silver-spoon softies is the worst kind of immoral, in my opinion. These were folks lives and futures being gambled with outright lies, propaganda, supression of conflicting intelligence and political firings.

I don't want my country secretly torturing people (and if you ask me--"what about if torturing one to death may save many lives in turn?--then I'm going to ask you--"wouldn't the world have been a better place if Hitler had just been aborted?").

Bush hiring his bud Brownie--the former horsey-show guy--to run FEMA really worked out well. Karl Rove just said the Republicans cannot get a break from the weather, referring to Gustav and Hanna, arriving just in time for their convention. I think Mr. Rove is alluding one of three things:

1) Gustav and Hanna are secretly evil Democrats.

2) The Buddhist principle of Karma is at play, and the Republicans are going to eat crow.

3) The almighty is mad at Republicans--remember what Dr. Falwell said about Katrina being God's wrath for the Homosexual-friendly New Orleans? Thus, even the almighty thinks the Democrats are the lesser of two evils (but definitely evil).

The insistence on secrecy and executive privelige for partisan-political leverage is staggering in this administration, both Bush and Cheney always insisting to testify together and never under oath on matters of consequence--you know, as apposed to the Republicans' impeachment of Clinton over sex. The partisan-political machinations that corrupted the Attorney General's Office, the Justice Department, FEMA, the Supreme Court, the CIA (and Cheney's own beholden intelligence office) all support the notion that Republicans are definitely not the lesser of two evils.

It's funny, but when an average C-student--who never did a thing in his life, save riding papa's coattails--ran for president, I don't remember a single Christian Conservative worrying about his inexperience.

I think the Republicans have made their bed these last eight years; it's time they laid down a while.

And I don't remember any Democrat ever running on the premise nor uttering the words "party over country." Since you put twinkles around them, please cite a qualifier. If it comes from another right-wing zealot, then the twinkles are overkill. Hyperbole cannot sustain both the front and back of your argument.

Likewise with your sweeping generalities about Islam--everybody already knows you worship the one-true God, and are on the one-true authentic path (as do many zealots of many different paths, as militantly [and moreso] steadfast in their beliefs as you are. Our country doesn't need a president or a political ideology that is so singularly-oriented, but one that embraces all. Again, I like Jefferson on religion and politics--they shouldn't mingle.

Overall, good writing--enjoyed the article.

Lynn said...

Cakes,

I think I get what your saying about the last 8 years is true. The Republicans turned their back on the people and gave into greed to line their own pockets. However, in all fairness, the problems can equally be blamed on t he Democrats side as well for everything that went on starting January of 2007. This congress has been the most inept and incompetent congress ever in my opinion. The Democrats took control of congress on promises that they would do certain things. Looking at the track record, they did not keep their promises to people either.

It goes back to the old saying....How can you tell a politician is lying.....he or she opens his or her mouth.

On a side note, I'm glad some lessons have been learned from Katrina and everyone is trying to get them evacuated now instead of when its too late.

Lynn said...

And as much as I like the Palin pick, I'm still unconvinced that the Republicans and Democrats really understand and care about the average joe and willing to listen to them. For that reason, I plan on voting for Bob Barr.

Cakes said...

Lynn,

I think that quote is about true--but a lot of times one can only vote in the general direction of their ideal, which is what Bratman is saying. I found Bill Clinton's centrism offputting when he ran--I was and am quite liberal. But I knew that whatever changes in the character of the government would be incremental, because the country is largely moderate to conservative.

I think America electing an African-American president will have a profound effect on this nation's racial healing. I look forward to healthcare being every American's right.

David said...

Charles,

I too am excited about Palin. It moves me from undecided.

Mike Bratton said...

A few things, folks:

1) Careful of that Tracy Eakes. From the way you're sitting right now, he knows four different ways to render you unconscious.

Not me, of course, but you...

2) I'm digging this new Google Chrome browser, even though it's in beta.

3) "To review, cherry-pickinjg intelligence and fomenting fears about Iraq after 9-11 to launch an unfounded preemptive strike"

Yellowcake, anyone?

"and its meatgrinder ever since--is why I cannot support Republicans."

We lost thousands just on D-Day alone. Should that be why I don't support Democrats?

"I believe the administration wanted a war and would stop at nothing to get their war--that, coming from a bunch of silver-spoon softies is the worst kind of immoral, in my opinion."

You believe. In your opinion. My belief that Tracy Eakes (a friend from way back, by the way) can render you (not me) unconscious four different ways has more to substantiate it than yours has for you, David.

And would you like to state, for the record, that you were a bit hyperbolic about Gustav? (There's a combination of words you don't see, every day--except in the transcript of a trial in Berlin.)

4) "I think America electing an African-American president"

Last I checked, Barack Obama is of mixed ethnicity.

"will have a profound effect on this nation's racial healing."

Racial healing has been going on awhile. It hasn't healed more properly because folks like Jackson and Sharpton keep picking at the wound.

For anyone eating when they read that analogy, my apologies.

"I look forward to healthcare being every American's right."

Where in the Constitution is that found?

5) "The Republicans turned their back on the people and gave into greed to line their own pockets. However, in all fairness, the problems can equally be blamed on t he Democrats side as well for everything that went on starting January of 2007. This congress has been the most inept and incompetent congress ever in my opinion."

Couldn't agree more.

6) "Our country doesn't need a president or a political ideology that is so singularly-oriented, but one that embraces all."

The problem with such syncretism is that by presuming to "embrace all," one embraces nothing.

"Again, I like Jefferson on religion and politics--they shouldn't mingle."

Jefferson, of course, being the fellow who cut bits and pieces out of a Bible and pasted together only the parts that met his personal approval.

Yes, that's the fellow we should reference in such matters.

7) "And as much as I like the Palin pick, I'm still unconvinced that the Republicans and Democrats really understand and care about the average joe and willing to listen to them. For that reason, I plan on voting for Bob Barr."

I'm not asking this to be argumentative, but what persuades you that Bob Barr cares and listens?

--Mike

Cakes said...

You know, clean, breathable air and untainted drinking water is not in the Constitution either.

"You believe. In your opinion. My belief that Tracy Eakes (a friend from way back, by the way) can render you (not me) unconscious four different ways has more to substantiate it than yours has for you, David."

Oh, impressive retort, big guy. It's also my opinion that a certain teacher "likes" me, and it is substantiated by a sequence of observable facts. Your reply is merely a lot of hubris and testosterone--what's new? In the end, we all express opinions along a wide spectrum of factual validity and first-person experiences.

Many informed and reasoned individuals have castigated the Bush Administration for invading Iraq--Sir John Keegan and Chief UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter for instance. Colin Powell shouted down his own staffer who tried to muzzle him when he admitted on live TV that his presentation before the UN was less than validated and its intelligence partial. We know this to be true and that there was no imminent theat and no genuine case for invasion.

Not only that, but both Powell and ex-marine Ritter would kick your friend's rear; although it's a toss up with Keegan.

Mike Bratton said...

It was a joke, gents.

Lighten up, would you please?

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

Oh, and with regard to working with the intelligence available at the time, there hasn't been a naysayer yet who offered a better response. And the objective facts, as they trickle out, support the move into Iraq.

Anyone want some ice cream with their yellowcake?

Oh, and OC, you'll notice your latest comment is gone. Careful with your language, please.

--Mike

Cakes said...

Bratman, I recommend that you give up writing and blogging--or just say that you are right and that you are above qualifying your own opinions.

Oh, and you've been less than tolerant of similar humor coming from others. But you've always been quite selective about what is inappropriate language. Those same items to which OC referred were open season on a previous thread with nary an intervention by you.

Speaking of which, where is Bratman's spider monkey?

Mike Bratton said...

With you, David, it is evident that no good deeds, wishes, or prayers go unpunished. Not that it's surprising, but it is disappointing.

If you're not up for discussion, that's cool.

--Mike

Cakes said...

"Following the 1991 Gulf War, the International Atomic Energy Agency removed all known Iraqi stocks of highly enriched uranium and plutonium, in accordance with the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 687. As of 2002 the only positively confirmed nuclear material left in Iraq is 1.8 tons of low-enriched uranium and several tons of natural and depleted uranium. The material is in a locked storage site at the Tuwaitha nuclear research facility near Baghdad. Under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, this stock of material is checked once a year by an IAEA team. The most recent check was in January 2002, and none of the material had been tampered with at that time."

Global Security.org

How about a lil' crow with your ice cream? Colin Powell knew better than to mention it in his infamous fiction before the UN Security Council. It was such sensitive material that the Iraqi Security Forces were reinstated with management and oversight of the facility in October of 2003. The Iraqi government sold the material to a Canadian industry.

Try as you may to make this the Bush Administration's vindication--for launching a pre-emptive strike based upon the pre-tence of an imminent threat--then I congratulate you for your cobbled and sloppy comeuppance. But if you think that justifies death, destruction and dismemberment of a tragic scale, and the cost of the war for which our grandchildren will be burdened, then God bless. If you believe all that, then I can only surmise buying the whole Immaculate Conception thing was a piece of cake for you.

We'll never have a discussion Bratman, but it is not because I do not try--you can read your own dismissive and condescending squibs for yourself. Your problem is that, if you dismiss a perspective, you're inclined to dismiss the person who voices it. "Yellowcake, anyone?" is so typical of your "writing"--you buy in cheap and go for the throat. No, that doesn’t look like love.

But to quote our last good president, there ain't no “there” there. I think--in your heart--you already knew that, which is why you were timid to state the case in explicit terms, yet offered a wink, wink to your fellow Bush-apologists who are also ever-desperate to justify colossal death and destruction. It's only my opinion, Bratman, but folks seem infected with the same reluctance to admit a mistake as our President.

Now that American oil companies have taken root in Iraq, not only do you have to justify the invasion, now you have to convince people to believe the imminent threat theory and not their lying-eyes.

Finally, cut it out with all the "how much love I've shown you" business. I have never felt one iota of love from you, and I ain't looking for it. I do think there are many lovely people here with whom I empathize and have reached back to me, even if our respectives lives and beliefs diverge. I'm grateful for that.

The difference between us Bratman, is that I don't believe myself above you, thus in the realm of discourse, I must make every effort to be concise and eloquent; with varying success--yet I'm an improving writer because I shoot for it; as opposed to a feeling that any old crumb or cute barb suffices, since every utterence is sanctified by my innate superiority.

I have found this to be the central failure of fundamentalist systems--logical dialogue is subverted. Some constructs are dismissed out-of-hand because of intolerance to the "other"; or the constructs appear out of thin air--no questions asked.

You are the one subverting discourse.

Mike Bratton said...

Cutting and pasting information with with you are unfamiliar is never a good idea, David--particularly when the article you quote from appears to be a dated article, and I quote thusly and like so, "on the Iraqi nuclear weapons development program."

One quote doesn't really equal research. The bottom line is that because inspections were so sloppily performed, it's hard to know with certainty what was where, when it was in Iraq, and if it was in Iraq at all. What we do know now, David, is that Iraq had hundreds of chemical weapons, a supposedly dormant nuclear weapons program that could've been awakened from its dormancy in a hot minute, and the missile delivery program to distribute those weapons to their neighbors.

Oh, and there was still hundreds of tons of yummy, fissible yellowcake uranium in Iraq--until just a few weeks ago, when it was flown out.

These were people with an agenda, these mean-ol'-Bush-invaded-our-paradise Iraqis. Was the intelligence manipulated a few years back? More than likely it was, at least to a certain extent. But discovery after discovery illustrates that, dodgy intelligence or not, Iraq was a threat.

Hopefully I won't have to chase that herring much any more. The article attached to this thread is about the upcoming election.

And folks, if the best you have is to toss bile at me, you're humming the wrong tune. Particularly you, David--especially when the facts speak against the picture you so disingenuously attempt to paint.

--Mike

Cakes said...

I think all you've got left is the "tsk-tsk," grandfatherly schtick. You may be a daddy, but you're not my daddy. So, please look for something less redundant in your literary toolkit.

What is dated is the belief that Iraq posed an imminent threat--the truth about the yeollowcake is common knowledge. It's also common knowledge that it was the US administration that barred further IAEA investigations of the facility. Despite grumblings to the contrary that every intelligence agency in the world agreed that Iraq posed an imminent threat, the IAEA wasn't even consulted.

I love the "yeah, intelligence was manipulated, but..." business. Iraq posed no threat that required invading it, and killing scores of innocent men, women and children. I didn't say Iraq was a paradise; it wasn't, but neither is North Korea, Tibet, or many other countries suffering under tyrants. Funny how diplomacy stays on the table when the offender has an air force.

The information about that Yellowcake is documented by many sources--you may submit them to your typical ad hominem form of blanket dismissal, but considering you're a devotee of Limbaugh, I'm not surprised.

Do you remember all the talk of mushroom clouds and smoking guns; how about mobile labs inside of railway cars? This administration stoked the fears of the public and an acquiescent House and Senate after 9-11: Dick Cheney couldn't trust the CIA to cherry-pick the intelligence he wanted, so he cobbled up one of his own; Powell disclosed the conflicts he had with the administration over some of the so-called "facts" prior to his presentation before the UN. Chalbi turned out to be a liar. The list goes on and on.

I don't really believe you care about the facts anyway, only justifying a dumb and costly war that the next administration will have to correct.

And you say your pro-life.

Cakes said...

Your other redundancy is to only profer doubt about points, never really engage them: Yellowcake, anyone?" You brought up the issue, I responded with a thought reasonbly articulated--one I'm certain with which you'd disagree, but a complete thought. You neither countered the evidence, nor substantiated your quip--rather, ad hominem is your theme.

The assumption that ad hominem darts bulwark the argument (or more like intimation--you're either above qualifiers or below par) that the Yellowcake--on lockdown before during and after the invasion--justified a pre-emptive strike and vindicates the Bush administration is pathetic

How very base of you.

Chew on this: The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of truth—that the error and truth are simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it is cured on one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one. HL Mencken

Mike Bratton said...

Cutting and pasting isn't a substitute for substantive discussion, whether it's a couple of lines from a dated report or the musings of another rabid anti-Christian.

And the only ad-hom advocates around here are the ones such as yourself, David, and your oft-deleted cohort OC, folks who think calling others schoolyard names substitutes for real thought.

It doesn't.

--Mike

Cakes said...

"Cutting and pasting isn't a substitute for substantive discussion, whether it's a couple of lines from a dated report or the musings of another rabid anti-Christian."

I cut and paste considerably less than you do, and not to elude dialogue, as is your practice. By your definition, the Bible is a "dated report" and thus dismissible. What fresh evidence that you have sustains the notion that the said Yellowcake represented an imminent threat worthy of a pre-emptive strike? Don’t worry; I have no illusions that you’ll engage it. After all, you are superior and sanctified from the normal memes of rhetoric, and the lowly heathen is below your consideration. Christ wasn’t like that, so why are you?

"And the only ad-hom advocates around here are the ones such as yourself, David (says the lord, and without qualifier, of a free blog), and your oft-deleted cohort OC, folks who think calling others schoolyard names (you mean like "anti-Christian?") substitutes for real thought."

Ask OC, Gmom, Nass, Padroc, and my many other friends at the evil NBBCOF if I'm anti-Christian; I, along with HL Mencken and other writers more substantive than you are more precisely "anti-hypocrite." I don’t expect you to acknowledge the distinction—invested as you are in painting me as trying to destroy Christendom. I’d actually be happy if there were more authentic Christians around (you know, Christ-like). Unfortunately, most “Fundies” are arrogant, self-righteous, judgmental and anti-intellectual, just like you.

Further, I encourage thinking people to abandon fundamentalist belief, because of the suffering it causes across a wide spectrum of the world, whether Muslim, Buddhist or Christian, is incontrovertible. Your pompous, idle and intellectually-lightweight musings again only confirm that your words deliver only hubris and ad hominem (meaning you won’t engage debate, but only seek to discredit the source), and sadly speak for themselves.

Five dollar words won’t bulwark ten cent arguments.

Cakes said...

Oh, and why did you give Arniminimum free reign to talk at length about a certain part of my anatomy with intervention or deletion, but when OC does it, you're outraged?

Because he's on your team. How pathetic.

Cakes said...

that's "without intervention or ...

Mike Bratton said...

David, you know why you made those friends. You know why you injected yourself into their belligerent activities in the first place. You even went so far as to publish your motivations, and they weren't exactly virtuous.

I'm around here more than I was at the time you're referencing, so I'm able to moderate more. Equating a change in schedule with (gasp!) hypocrisy is absurd. But it is a halfway-decent attempt at deflection.

You're a provocateur, and someone who is actively opposed to Christianity. I keep asking you if you tell your offline friends and family, those who profess to be Christians, about what you write online, and you keep responding with what's supposed to be outrage.

Where's the real, legitimate, hypocrisy, David? In being the same person regardless of circumstance, or in showing different faces to different groups of people?

--Mike

Benoni Hayes said...

Mr. Bratton,

I believe that we share a similar opinion concerning the ‘religion’ of our candidates(for president, not necessarily VP, as that is not ‘universally’ known as of yet). Your offering was very insightful. As for the back and forth banter, I’ll steer clear.

I consider my views to be on the conservative side and not necessarily the ‘republican’ side. I also view it to be erroneous to vote according to the ‘confession’ of religion by any candidate. A candidate confesses much more by the way they live (have lived) their lives both publicly and privately than can ever be stuffed into sound bites, stump speeches, and pseudo-religious anecdotes at mega-church forums. I personally find it difficult to see how any politician can remain consistent and true to their faith when they will inevitably have to make compromises to such in the administration of their office, particularly that of president.

I am not a Bush apologist, a term that has been used in this thread. IMO, he has had successes, but his failures or failure to act has diminished his accomplishments. I probably have a different view of war(and the use of) than many conservatives. I am in complete disagreement with the idea of launching a preemptive war on a nation(no matter how wicked the dictator might be) upon the premise of supposed threats to our national interests. If this is the rationale, then there are many other nations that might find themselves in our crosshairs. I abhor the justification of the death of innocents by using terms like ‘collateral damage’. Just as repulsive is the ‘one death may have saved the lives of many’ jargon. There may well be a good or positive result for the nation of Iraq socially and economically…but it is hard to applaud while swallowing back ‘the ends justify the means’ idea. This seems to be an acceptable idea even among those who identify themselves as being in Christ. To think contrary to this idea is to be labeled a pacifist, a liberal, or unpatriotic…especially if one (for example) ‘blasphemously’ suggests that the leaders of our nation were wrong to purposely target Japanese civilians(over 100,000) in WWII. But again, the argument is “just think how many lives we ended up saving”. This idea is deeply ingrained in our public mentality as it pertains to military action and dangerously so. With this line of reasoning, one might easily make the jump to justifying any sort of ‘taking of life’, just as long as it might save many lives. I am consistently pro-life, and this is a similar argument that is used by many who are not. And just for the record, I lost a brother nearly 3 years ago to this war. My opinions on the matter of war though predate this by a couple of decades.(I'm aware that this isn't the subject of the thread, but since the worm-can was opened...)

But the old saying is, “it is what it is”, so here goes. There are terrorists abroad that wish to do our nation great harm, and Senator McCain seems to be much more capable in this arena. He is also much more likely to nominate a justice with a stricter interpretation of the constitution. Unjust taxation on legitimate industries(however large their profit margins) will only increase the financial burden on the citizenry, and I for one believe that we pay more than what is proper in taxes. The ‘right’ of healthcare for all seems to be a far stretch, though I believe that are many steps that the gov’t could take to make it more accessible and affordable. As an educator, I feel it is unlikely that the next president(whomever that may be) is going to scrap this Bush/Kennedy monstrosity that we are yoked with now, so that’s a push. For these reasons (there are more), I will vote for JM.

I have nothing against the idea of our nation electing a black president…but this is about ideology and principle and when weighed in the balances, Obama comes up lacking.

Thank you Mr. Bratton for the forum in which to share these opinions.

Sincerely,
Benoni Hayes

Team Player John Mark said...

Cakes said...
Oh, and why did you give Arniminimum free reign to talk at length about a certain part of my anatomy with intervention or deletion, but when OC does it, you're outraged?

Because he's on your team. How pathetic.


Looks like someone's imagining things again. No surprise, of course. This is the same person who got bent out of shape when I called him 'the pastry'.

OC's the one who recently went on a tirade about people unable to keep certain parts of their body in their trousers, so perhaps you're confusing who posted what. I once equated you with the hindmost parts of a donkey, but that's not really what you implied.

And if I'm not mistaken, OC recently deleted 25 of his own posts on his home blog. If he finds so many of them inappropriate himself, how can he criticize someone else who does too?

As far as the election, I'm still undecided. McCain's got a lot of unanswered questions, and unless he addresses them during the campaign I won't be voting for him.

Lynn said...

"These were people with an agenda, these mean-ol'-Bush-invaded-our-paradise Iraqis. Was the intelligence manipulated a few years back? More than likely it was, at least to a certain extent. But discovery after discovery illustrates that, dodgy intelligence or not, Iraq was a threat."

I'm not an expert, but I am a thinker. Usually, once there is some manipulation, that manipulation puts the credibility of things that happen afterward into question.

Originally when we went to war, I was in favor of it. However, as it became more and more clear to me that the administration lied to the American people, I realized this was a mistake. All this war in Iraq has been is a distraction for our primary goal....to get Bin Laden. On top of that, it was a poorly executed war at that, with what seems to be no exit strategy as well.

As for the inspections, as much as I think the UN is about as competant as a Willie Herenton appointee.....its hard to do its job when we were essentially determined to go in there regardless. That was a complete rush job.

It seems to me your dismissing Powell's own admission that it was a mistake. When the former secretary of state admits it was a mistake, thats pretty credible to me, but I don't know.

Team Player John Mark said...

Looks like I might have to change my vote!

VOTE

maybejustmaybe said...

And why, exactly, would Sol want to open up comments on his blog? So it could turn into another cyber-equivalent of a verbal urination contest? The wall is getting quite saturated, guys, and it doesn't appear that anyone is winning. Lions 0, Christians 0, Buddhists 0 ...

Mike Bratton said...

I just took a little break from playing Scrabble with my daughter, and checking in here, I've frankly had enough of the idiocy that passes for the comments you folks are posting.

You'll notice that a lot of comments have disappeared.

Do I really have to put more people in the same category as Page? The next reference I hear to a "spider monkey" or "satanic trap" (or similar personal attacks on anyone) will get the author banned.

And the next reference to the Forum, in a thread like this that has nothing to do with those folks and their hate, will get the author's post(s) deleted. Do it enough, and a banning will follow.

Do you have observations on the upcoming Presidential election? Thoughts you'd like to share on my article? By all means, let's hear them. But if you start attacking, I don't give a twisting back flip who you are or what you target, I'm done with you folks' childishness.

In particular, it's been the better part of a year since I've paid much in the way of attention to anything the anti-Bellevue gang does; I prescribe it for anyone monitoring their activities too closely, or especially those sharing their acidic point of view. You'll find it's refreshing to just let them wallow.

If there's a reason to ever, ever write about them again, I'll be sure to do so. And I understand that people who are closer to them than I am need a place to vent. But the regular, rhythmic gong-ringing about the Forum really has to stop. If anyone still considers them a real, viable, significantly dangerous group of rumor-mongers and church-splitters, then e-mail me and let's talk about it.

Frankly, I'm tired of seeing comment threads get diverted and hijacked around here. Behave yourselves or shut up.

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

Now, some folks have actually posted something worth discussing!

"Originally when we went to war, I was in favor of it. However, as it became more and more clear to me that the administration lied to the American people, I realized this was a mistake."

See, Lynn, here's the deal. I believe it's not unreasonable to say that we got bad information. However, to say the Bush Administration "lied" suggests intent, something that hasn't come close to being substantiated as of yet.

This gets us back to the forthcoming election, as Joe Biden has insisted that a (shudder) Obama Administration will prosecute President Bush and members of his administration for "war crimes" and such.

"All this war in Iraq has been is a distraction for our primary goal....to get Bin Laden. On top of that, it was a poorly executed war at that, with what seems to be no exit strategy as well."

No disagreement here. I was always under the impression that overwhelming force at the beginning of a war was a good way to minimize casualties and shorten the duration of fighting.

And one fellow wearing robes (which, as an aside, are actually quite comfortable once you get used to them) seems to be able to evade our people and technology for quite a long period of time.

"As for the inspections, as much as I think the UN is about as competant as a Willie Herenton appointee....."

Yipes!

"its hard to do its job when we were essentially determined to go in there regardless. That was a complete rush job."

Didn't the U.N. have, well, quite awhile to inspect? Time enough to, well, spirit away their contraband materiel someplace else, even?

"It seems to me your dismissing Powell's own admission that it was a mistake. When the former secretary of state admits it was a mistake, thats pretty credible to me, but I don't know."

It has always appeared that Powell's commentary could have as much political motivation as military.

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

"I personally find it difficult to see how any politician can remain consistent and true to their faith when they will inevitably have to make compromises to such in the administration of their office, particularly that of president."

Benoni, I plan on addressing more of your excellent post, but Scrabble awaits. However, let me ask you this: Is compromise always corruption, and do you consider it beyond the realm of possibility for a legitimate Christian to exhibit his or her faith through actions taken as President?

--Mike

maybejustmaybe said...

Mike,

That made me think of yet another angle on Bush's presidency. I think many of us, no matter how "sold" we were on "W" 8 years ago, would agree that there have been dismal failures and disappointments. I agree with you that "lying" might be a strong descriptor of the wrong information that was passed off as truth on the front side of Iraq. History will no doubt deposit GWB in the same "bad presidency" file as Hoover and Carter. But how do you think he will be remembered as a Christian President? I think despite his many shortcomings, he has demonstrated the courage of his convictions and decisive leadership in times of crisis (Katrina, the oil crisis, and the economy notwithstanding). Perhaps he will be remembered like some of those kings of Israel who started out trying to tear down the high places, but lost the Lord's favor somewhere along the line and ended their reigns without Him. Or will be honored as a man who was sincere, but on many issues sincerely wrong? Can Bush be viewed as a good Christian and a poor President at the same time?

Lynn said...

"This gets us back to the forthcoming election, as Joe Biden has insisted that a (shudder) Obama Administration will prosecute President Bush and members of his administration for "war crimes" and such."


I went back and heard the clip of Biden talking about that.....he didn't say war crimes, he said for violations of the constitution. And I do think there is grounds for at least a continued investigation. When a government actively tries to hide from Congress, thats cause for concern. Last time I checked, Congress serves as a check and balance to the executive branch.

Memphis said...

"he didn't say war crimes, he said for violations of the constitution. And I do think there is grounds for at least a continued investigation."

I see this as more of a campaign tactic bi Obama/Biden than anything else.

Mike Bratton said...

"I went back and heard the clip of Biden talking about that.....he didn't say war crimes, he said for violations of the constitution."

Apologies for the confusion. I wasn't making a direct quote of something Biden had supposedly said, but rather a quote-unquote summation of his point. You would agree, would you not, that violations of the United States Constitution during a time of war would qualify as war crimes?

"And I do think there is grounds for at least a continued investigation. When a government actively tries to hide from Congress, thats cause for concern. Last time I checked, Congress serves as a check and balance to the executive branch."

Do you believe the current Congress views its role in such a way?

And, indeed, the Biden observation is just red meat for the Democrat base of party-first liberals. Nevertheless, putting people in a position where once-vain threats can be given substance is never a good thing.

--Mike

Lynn said...

Mike Bratton said...

"I went back and heard the clip of Biden talking about that.....he didn't say war crimes, he said for violations of the constitution."

Apologies for the confusion. I wasn't making a direct quote of something Biden had supposedly said, but rather a quote-unquote summation of his point. You would agree, would you not, that violations of the United States Constitution during a time of war would qualify as war crimes?

"And I do think there is grounds for at least a continued investigation. When a government actively tries to hide from Congress, thats cause for concern. Last time I checked, Congress serves as a check and balance to the executive branch."

Do you believe the current Congress views its role in such a way?

And, indeed, the Biden observation is just red meat for the Democrat base of party-first liberals. Nevertheless, putting people in a position where once-vain threats can be given substance is never a good thing.

--Mike

1:41 PM, September 08, 2008


The Constitution has to be upheld for its citizens, regardless of the circumstances. The FISA law was adequate. Bush didn't have to violate the rights of Americans with the wiretaps.

And the Patriot Act pretty much did irreprable harm to our constitutional rights.

Mike Bratton said...

"The Constitution has to be upheld for its citizens, regardless of the circumstances. The FISA law was adequate. Bush didn't have to violate the rights of Americans with the wiretaps."

Is domestic (non-terrorism) intelligence being gathered, or are the wiretaps not primarily designed to gather foreign intelligence, and terrorism intelligence in general?

"And the Patriot Act pretty much did irreprable harm to our constitutional rights."

The Fourth Amendment is one of my favorites, and one I've had to take care to obey in the past. Do we know of any examples where that (or any other Constitutional provision) has been violated? I'm curious, because I haven't heard any major outcry where folks' rights have been actually trampled; if that's happened, I'd appreciate the information.

Let's be sure we're not so concerned about the potential theory that we ignore the actual practice.

And with regard to the topic at hand, are you concerned that a Presidential candidate, if elected, would continue allowing these problematic areas to persist? (Hint: I'm concerned that one major-party candidate will actually make things go from problematic to socialist.)

--Mike

Lynn said...

Yes I am concerned. Unfortunately, I don't think neither candidate will get it done. We have an incompetant congress that I think will remain that way regardless of who's president.

"The Fourth Amendment is one of my favorites, and one I've had to take care to obey in the past. Do we know of any examples where that (or any other Constitutional provision) has been violated? I'm curious, because I haven't heard any major outcry where folks' rights have been actually trampled; if that's happened, I'd appreciate the information."

Actually, there is an example. Look at Helena-West Helena, Arkansas. As a way to try to fight crime there, the mayor instituted what amounts to Martial Law in certain areas of the city. If your in that area, the cops will search you without probably cause. This has resulted in about 30 arrests or so that will more than likely be thrown out due to the violation of the 4th Amendment.

Ben Franklin once said that he who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.

Mike Bratton said...

"Actually, there is an example. Look at Helena-West Helena, Arkansas. As a way to try to fight crime there, the mayor instituted what amounts to Martial Law in certain areas of the city. If your in that area, the cops will search you without probably cause. This has resulted in about 30 arrests or so that will more than likely be thrown out due to the violation of the 4th Amendment."

Lynn, I actually read about that as part of my effort to keep somewhat aware of hometown happenings. Aren't those affected areas plagued with drug dealers, drug-related crime, and random acts of homicide?

The Fourth protects against searches and seizures without reason. Not that I'm there enough to know the guts of the story, but from what I've read, it sounds like there are lots of reasons to institute those curfews.

--Mike

Lynn said...

Mike Bratton said...

"Actually, there is an example. Look at Helena-West Helena, Arkansas. As a way to try to fight crime there, the mayor instituted what amounts to Martial Law in certain areas of the city. If your in that area, the cops will search you without probably cause. This has resulted in about 30 arrests or so that will more than likely be thrown out due to the violation of the 4th Amendment."

Lynn, I actually read about that as part of my effort to keep somewhat aware of hometown happenings. Aren't those affected areas plagued with drug dealers, drug-related crime, and random acts of homicide?

The Fourth protects against searches and seizures without reason. Not that I'm there enough to know the guts of the story, but from what I've read, it sounds like there are lots of reasons to institute those curfews.

--Mike

10:30 PM

Actually, from my understanding of it, they're calling it a curfew, but essentially its Martial Law. And Martial Law can and only be declared on a state and federal level. Yes crime is bad, crime is bad in Memphis and Detroit, but neither city has gone to this level of tyranny. And from what some people who live there say, its not as bad as the mayor thinks.

Memphis said...

Take a look at what TN's own Steve Cohen said....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmnbTBCktoM

Memphis said...

and then there is this...

At a rally in Nashua, N.H., a man in the audience told Biden how glad he was that Obama picked him over Hillary, "not because she's a woman, but because, look at the things she did in the past."

"Make no mistake about this," Biden responded. "Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Let’s get that straight. She’s a truly close personal friend, she is qualified to be president of the United States of America, she’s easily qualified to be vice president of the United States of America, and quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me. But she’s first rate, I mean that sincerely, she’s first rate, so let’s get that straight."

Spokesman Ben Porritt offered this response from the McCain camp: "Barack Obama’s most important decision of this election, and Biden -- the candidate he selects -- suggests, himself, that he wasn’t the right man for the job, and that Hillary Clinton would have been a better choice. Biden certainly has a credible viewpoint on this."

WOW!

Mike Bratton said...

Can't get that Steve Cohen link to work.

And was that Biden in Biden's own words, or did he lift that quote from someone else? He had to quit a primary awhile back because of that habit, you know...

--Mike

Memphis said...

Quote from Biden himself.

As for the Cohen link, search Youtube for Obama and Jesus and you will find it. Sorry I am not more savy with links.

Basically what Cohen says, and I paraphrase, is this:

If we want change in America we will vote for Barack Obama who was a community organizer in much the same way as Jesus was and that we should remember that Pontius Pilate was also a Gov.

Benoni Hayes said...

"Benoni, I plan on addressing more of your excellent post, but Scrabble awaits. However, let me ask you this: Is compromise always corruption, and do you consider it beyond the realm of possibility for a legitimate Christian to exhibit his or her faith through actions taken as President?"

--Mike

Mr. Bratton,

Anything is within the realm of possibility, however, with low probability.

My ideology of course would shape my opinion as to whether or not Pres. Bush has tarnished his public image/credibility as a Christian. I've shared my view on the war, so I wont revisit it, though I view it highly relevant to the question. And again, I believe we would seek consistency, not infalibility.

If there was anyone though that I believed might remain true to his confession, it was the president...and I do concede that he has displayed his faith by practice in some areas.

But only several months into his first term...well, what we are remembering today... how he might have governed otherwise we may not know.

I believe cronyism, which has little if nothing to do with the war, has been apparent in his presidency. I do not consider the contracts to Haliburton(which has been the cronyism posterchild) to be cronyism as there were things in Iraq that had to be done after the initial invasion that basically, only Haliburton had the knowledge, technology, and assets to do. However, Meyers, Gonzales, and Brown come to mind. Just bad decisions based on prior associations which had a profound negative effect(not so much with Meyers, as her replacement was excellent). These decisions may be forgotten over time and not be viewed so much as 'principles run amuck'.

But a president has to be the ultimate diplomat. Especially so as it concerns the middle east, and this has required befriending some who by their actions are detestable and enemies by definition. But even if that were a necessary 'concession', there should be boundaries to these uneasy alliances. Let me change gears to make this point.

IMO, a Christian's actions are/should be goverened by what they believe. Now, not just what one believes about the practical side of their faith, but what one believes about God and His Son. In fact, the authenticity of faith is defined by such. A Christian faith without Monotheism, the Diety of Christ, and definite beliefs concerning substitution and imputation is equivilent to pseudo-christianity at best. On more than one occasion on the foreign stage before an audience of primarily middle eastern non-christians, the president went far beyond the call of diplomatic duty. It is consistent with the Christian faith to extend peace to and affirm the worth of all peoples/nations. This can be done without entering into or comparing religion. But the president went much further than this and ascribed certain attributes and similarities to their deity and faith that is entirely inconsistent and contrary in keeping to his own. This was a compromise that was unnecessary but made nonetheless. And for what? So that they might be as gracious and understanding towards Christians? Christians may, according to our beliefs, desire their regeneration and of course this is deemed offensive... but according to their beliefs they desire our annihilation, and we are 'infidels' for not understanding why. Simply put, I was very dissappointed at his 'estimates' of the two faiths.

Lastly, regardless of the constant drumbeat of how "we are not safer now than seven years ago", we are safer. I base that not in subjective opinion, but because the efforts in nat'l security/counterterrorism have prevented a repeat of seven years ago. For that I commend the president.

Sincerely,
Benoni Hayes

Mike Bratton said...

"Basically what Cohen says, and I paraphrase, is this: If we want change in America we will vote for Barack Obama who was a community organizer in much the same way as Jesus was and that we should remember that Pontius Pilate was also a Gov."

Ah. That old Democrat talking point. Yet, it's still interesting that a non-Christian would invoke the name of Jesus when it suits partisan political purposes.

When you hear that community organizer vs. governor garbage, folks, remember this: Jesus is God, and Barack Obama doesn't believe in Him.

"IMO, a Christian's actions are/should be goverened by what they believe."

Completely accurate, else they are not beliefs, but opinions.

And as to your reference to President Bush's undue deference to Islam, it has churned my stomach on more than one occasion. I can't recall President Bush ever suggesting that there are nice terrorists, or nice Communists, but time and again he has attempted to bifurcate the political worldview known as Islam into "mean" and "nice." Obviously, it is unwise to attempt to do so.

Today is a day for all of us to remember that there are people in this world who wish harm upon those of us who are Christians, and those of us who are Americans, just because we are who we are. A good number of those violence-minded people worship the false god--and follow the diabolical ideology--of Islam.

--Mike

Karen said...

Hey Mike! Your comment on Sarah Palin was right on! I think she's wonderful and the striking resemblance I have to her makes it that much more fun for me.

BTW, there's a 3rd lookalike running around Memphis. If you come back here, come see us at Ellendale - you and Keith have a triplet. :)

Karen said...

AND, Mike and David, you guys should be nice to each other. I've seen you 2 get along quite nicely in person, if memory serves.....

Mike Bratton said...

"Hey Mike! Your comment on Sarah Palin was right on! I think she's wonderful and the striking resemblance I have to her makes it that much more fun for me."

Thank you, ma'am, and I'm guessing you'll be getting a pair of Kawasaki 704 frames in 34 gray to complete your look?

"BTW, there's a 3rd lookalike running around Memphis. If you come back here, come see us at Ellendale - you and Keith have a triplet. :)"

Yes, it would be nice to see my clon... er, my triplet...

"AND, Mike and David, you guys should be nice to each other. I've seen you 2 get along quite nicely in person, if memory serves....."

I'm told that David's real opinion differs from the one he displayed in person awhile back. Unfortunately.

--Mike

Karen said...

Hey Mike,

Not sure what brand my glasses are, but they are dark gray plastic along the top and side pieces with pinkish bronze metal on the bottom. Reminds me of my purple Ashleigh Banfield specs.

About David, he's been nothing but nice to me so let's leave it at that. BUT I did respond to CP on David's blog and now he's back on my behind! UHHHHH!

Have fun in Bham!

Mike Bratton said...

Here is the the truth:

No one has been banned from this blog except one very deserving individual.

The deletion of pugilistic comments is not unusual around here. For some antagonistic posters to insist the practice is anything but ordinary is, at best, disingenuous.

When I warn folks about impending consequences for their bad behavior, I'm not kidding.

If people like David the Cakes and O.C. (one of my favorite shows is Orange County Choppers, by the way, but only when they don't have to get their language censored) want to lie and bravely talk smack from the comfort of their keyboards (when I know they'd be much, much more mannered in a real-life setting), then that's their prerogative.

But as I said before, if others' posts aren't on topic, they will disappear.

Thusly, and like so.

Now, can we get back to the topic at hand?

--Mike

oc said...

"(when I know they'd be much, much more mannered in a real-life setting),"

No. Actually, you don't know that.

Mike Bratton said...

"oc said...
"(when I know they'd be much, much more mannered in a real-life setting),"

No. Actually, you don't know that.

2:37 AM, September 19, 2008"

Sometimes, you have to leave little archeological mementos... things that serve to illustrate a point. OC/Larry up there can be a nice guy, but too often makes the typically emotional mistake of employing online bravado in lieu of actual discussion.

Particularly at 2:30 in the morning. Not to single him out; he's not the first person to do that, and won't be the last.

And I'm sure you're much more mannered and gentlemanly in "real life," Larry. Call me an optimist.

--Mike

michelle mann said...

Hi big brother! Have you seen the Saturday Night Live video clip with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin? I can't remember the name of the one portraying Hillary Clinton. If you haven't, just go to NBC.com and a link to the video should be on the main page. Or, you can copy and paste this into your browser:

http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/palin-hillary-open/656281/

Pretty funny stuff, I think!

Mike Bratton said...

I have seen it, kiddo. There were a couple of things that were irresponsible, but on the whole it was pretty good.

--Mike

oc said...

Yes Mike. I am quite a nice guy, and a real gentleman. And I'm also a Christian. But even so, I don't back down easily. Members of the Banditos motorcycle club in Texas will attest to that. I'm a member of the CMA, and have ridden into rallies of Banditos, Hell's Disciples, and Satan's Angels, etc. They did not back me down, even at one time at knife point. So I'm not real impressed by your veiled bravado either. But really, that's not the point. The point is that you
never know who you are talking to or talking about either. Does it really matter that my post was at 2:30? What are you saying there, brother?
If time does make a difference to you, let me know what the problem is. I'll try to post earlier.

Yep, I'm a real gentleman. And I'm really a nice guy. You would probably like me, if you could get over all that "bravado" thing.
Just sayin'.
Peace.
oc/Larry.

Mike Bratton said...

"Yes Mike. I am quite a nice guy, and a real gentleman. And I'm also a Christian. But even so, I don't back down easily. Members of the Banditos motorcycle club in Texas will attest to that. I'm a member of the CMA, and have ridden into rallies of Banditos, Hell's Disciples, and Satan's Angels, etc. They did not back me down, even at one time at knife point. So I'm not real impressed by your veiled bravado either. But really, that's not the point."

Mine? You're projecting, evidently, even as you (again) trot out your pugilistic bona fides and wave them about.

My point is, and always has been, that people are (generally) less openly belligerent and more friendly to one another in face-to-face discussions. That is, when they're inclined to be belligerent in the first place.

"The point is that you
never know who you are talking to or talking about either."

Actually, I always remember that I'm corresponding with real people, possessing real personalities and real points of view. The point is that many other people (especially you and some of your online cohorts) are often too busy trying to pick online fights to remember that. That is, when you're not engaging in self-promotion.

"Does it really matter that my post was at 2:30? What are you saying there, brother? If time does make a difference to you, let me know what the problem is. I'll try to post earlier."

Was I not clear? Unless you habitually are up at that hour, you might have been a bit sleep-deprived. And sleep deprivation can produce comments that are a bit muddy in content.

"Yep, I'm a real gentleman. And I'm really a nice guy. You would probably like me, if you could get over all that 'bravado' thing.
Just sayin'.
Peace.
oc/Larry."

I will reserve comment.

--Mike

oc said...

No, I'm not pugilistic. But I will defend myself and my friends. And I refused to be bullied or let anyone else be bullied. That seems to be a fact that gets under your skin, and then you trot out your script or hit the delete button. And no, be assured that I'm the same here as I am in person. I know that's a disappointment to you, since I don't make your qualifications for the Christian mold. Although curiously, John Mark seems to make the grade here.

Please don't worry about my health. I am extremely healthy. And I am habitually up at 2:30 in in the morning. I'm not sleep deprived. I just don't have bankers hours. I'm high energy, and don't sit around much. So relax, there is no "mud" in me nor any in my comment.
And as self promotion goes? I can't believe you even had the nerve to say that. I'll reserve further comment on that.

Larry.

maybejustmaybe said...

Pardon my stereotyping, but this bravado alpha-male thing ... why is it that it's usually the guys we see sparring like this, but not often the women?

Although, the idea of Jess and me "taking it outside" is really rather hilarious ...

Mike Bratton said...

"Pardon my stereotyping, but this bravado alpha-male thing ... why is it that it's usually the guys we see sparring like this, but not often the women?"

No sparring here, ma'am. Larry tries to provoke, and I've allowed his most recent effort as a museum piece.

--Mike

oc said...

No, I'm not sparring. And I'm not provoking anyone either. I just won't be shoved around, and that seems not to go well with you.

And I thank you for keeping this "museum piece" up.
You have no idea right now what you have done. Some day you will. And it will be a classic.

In the mean time, why not allow the remote possibility that you may be wrong while entertaining the real possibility that I may be wrong, yet still allow the chance that maybe the solution lies somewhere between us?
I think that's fair.

Larry.

oc said...

And just a question, if I may.
In one of your above posts, you made reference to my "online cohorts". Who are you talking about?

John Mark said...

Although curiously, John Mark seems to make the grade here.

That might be because none of my posts are intended to inflict damage, and none of them are sneering. Just off topic.

And every now and then I agree with someone. You should try it.

oc said...

Thank you JM. Thanks for your godly instruction. I may just go ahead and try your sweet and loving approach.

Blessings.
oc.

John Mark said...

Way off topic and subject to deletion, this was posted on another blog tonight:

cakes said this is the question he asked Mike Bratton...
"Would you be willing to admit that troubled members of Bellevue have a reason to doubt the integrity and efficacy of its leadership, in light of the handling of the pedophile scandal and the partial scope of the investigation?"


This, cakes, is a flat out lie. Your meeting with Mike was very well documented, and that question was nowhere to be seen. You're fantasizing once again. What was asked, since I'm the only one who seems to have a functional memory, was why PW should not have been fired when a school principal who had done the same thing would have been. Not quite the same question, is it?

Mike NEVER said that the leadership shouldn't ever be questioned. He had plenty of questions, which you acknowledged when you stated on the NBBCOF that he was "no sycophant".

His response was that SG had a responsibility to PW's soul that a principal did not have to an abusive teacher. Read it for yourself. And have some cole slaw with that crow.

A more important issue is something you failed to answer. Sol asked you a question, and you completely ignored it because it didn't work to your advantage.

The question was this: show us a precedent. Show us somewhere that a teacher went to a principal and confessed to abusing HIS OWN CHILD and was fired. Not an example of a teacher abusing A STUDENT but HIS OWN CHILD!!! You didn't answer, because there IS no precedent.

PW did not abuse a child in the youth department, in the church, or of any church member other than himself. This was truly without precedent. It really WAS uncharted waters, whatever you choose to believe. And if you aren't willing to allow that a man who was able to persuade his own wife into believing that he was so repentant that he should be forgiven was able to persuade a preacher of the same thing, I'd say you are a man devoid of compassion and understanding.

This post will be posted tonight on one of the blogs, you can count on that. I'd prefer it to be yours in the hope that you will give truth a chance, but if it's Mike's that's fine too.

Your choice of creating fictional events, and your distasteful showing of cartoons with the Christian slogan "God Loves You" written on someone's butt shows that you have deep underlying issues against Christianity.

I'm sure your team will attack me with a variety of insults, but the question that must be answered is this: Why do you lie? You never asked Mike that question, and he never gave the answer you claim. Lies, lies, LIES!!

Until you answer, nothing else matters. Your credibility is shot.

Liar, liar, pants on fire.

And such.

Dr. Bill Loney said...

Okay Mike, here goes,

After returning to the states, I received this message from my esteemed mentor and world renowned professor at Mexico City Community College Online Medical School, Dr. Nachos Grande:

“Senor Beel,
thee ladee you mary las time you ar heere, why you no take hur to Teenasee weeth you? Senor, shee hav a Lonee babee aftore you leev. Eet ees no gessing whoo thee papa ees...thee babee, eet have a tell and ees vary much hairee. Wee tri and burn eet oft, but eet keep groing bak.” (for entire message, see The Loney Report, or TLR)

Anyway, I want to be a responsible parent to little he or she Loney, and I don’t want he/she thinking that I’m a brawler. Some time ago, you mistakenly accused me of issuing death threats (during my abandoned bid to become deacon president), and I think that might have possibly in some roundabout way or another, that I just probably may have sorta of implied or inferred, (or is it conferred?) that you were a jack---. Anyway what I been sorta thinking and mulling over, you know, without mincing any words or splitting hairs or dancing around the subject, it was probably in some sort of way or another not beyond the stretch of imagination that it was not a nice thing to say. So, well, you know, what I’m getting at is maybe we can bury the hatchet, you know, let sleeping dogs lie, and put our best legs forward---you see, I’m not that good at fence-mending…now fence tearing down…I wrote the book on that one…well, actually it was more like a brochure, ‘cept without pictures, well at least camera pictures, cause I think I drawed a few in it…course it was nothing compared to the one that I wrote on ‘bridge burning’…man that was a classic, though you might oughta think if your on the right side of the river and if you can swim before you go striking the match…I learned that the hard way…that is I learned bout checking if you were on the right side of the river and could swim or not, not match striking…shoot, I learned how to that at least a few years back. Well anyway, I was figuring on making things right, especially since youre the one who showed me how to use he word (sic). Which reminds me, how often do babies get (sic)? Cause I can doctor up people with lipid rich ankles, but baby doctoring is probably a specialty that will take me 2 or 3 weeks to get a license printed up for. So, we good?

William T. Loney, MD

oc said...

Hey Mike, I have this friend. Oh, shoot. Let's go ahead and call him Larry. Anyway, he can render you unconscious in MORE than four ways, and in less than one second.
But he can't do it to me.
So now what?

oc said...

Anyway, I reckon you should keep your threats tucked securely in your dainty waist band.
And I know you work hard at trying to portray a certain...image...but that has become sad.


No, I'm not buying any of it. And that's ok. As long as it works in your world. But I'm hoping you are
"macho" enough to understand what I'm saying to you right now.
Even when you sweep the poop under the rug, the poop remains.. Even if you can't see the doo doo, it still stinks.
How long shall thy spray Febreze before you removeth the source which causeth the stinketh?
Just sayin'.
oc/Larry.

Mike Bratton said...

Dr. Loney has a way with a joke. He may make some mistakes in choosing material, but he's got some skill. (Note that I refrained from adding the "z" to "skill," as the kids are prone to do these days.)

Larry, on the other hand, evidently has problems scrolling back, or reading, or getting a joke, or else in only getting a joke when it suits him. To save you the extreme effort involved in scrolling up, I quote myself thusly, and like so:

mike bratton said...
It was a joke, gents.

Lighten up, would you please?

--Mike

8:54 AM, September 05, 2008


And John Mark, thank you. And such. With regard to consistency, I was reminded of remarks of mine subsequent to the Huey's get-together.

(Pardon me a moment. YO, HUEY'S! OPEN UP A LOCATION OR SIX DOWN HERE IN THE GREATER BIRMINGHAM METROPOLITAN AREA! I'M SUFFERING FROM A LACK OF HUEYBURGERS! Thank you.)

I understand that the memory of what was a pleasant meeting has been hit with a wave of revisionism. Such an undertaking is revealing, particularly when considering the individuals cooperating in it.

--Mike

oc said...

"Larry, on the other hand, evidently has problems scrolling back, or reading, or getting a joke, or else in only getting a joke when it suits him. To save you the extreme effort involved in scrolling up, I quote myself thusly, and like so:

mike bratton said...
It was a joke, gents."



Lighten up, would you please?

--Mike



Uh huh. ;)

John Mark said...

Karen said...

I thought I could reach more people here so I hope you don't mind that I'm off topic:

Hello you wonderful people,

My mom is back in the hospital as of last night. She got a cold about 2 weeks ago which has turned into another lung infection. The doctors are also running tests because her kidneys are not functioning correctly. As you know, she has more than her share of health problems and I just want you to pray for a good outcome of the kidney tests and that her lungs will again be well.

Please pray for me because I have bronchitis and since I am contagious, I haven't seen mom in about 10 days (we are usually attached at the hip!). I am having really bad anxiety and a real bad case of helplessness.

Finally, please pray for Carolyn Carter's father. He is really sick, but I don't have all the details on that.

Thanks for once again lifting our family in prayer.

Love, Karen

6:45 PM, September 23, 2008


Probably better to post it here. They might be too busy tsk tsking and tut tutting over Mark Driscoll to pray...

solomon said...

Karen,

I just got John's email.

Me and my family will be praying the requests you shared. I'm certain that there will also be many lurkers on both blogs who never post but will still be interceding for you and your mother. You're well covered!

Best wishes to you and yours,
Keith

larry said...

I'm certain that there will also be many lurkers on both blogs who never post but will still be interceding for you and your mother. You're well covered!

Agreed, Sol. We're a church first, political action committee second. I think it was you who said silence is tacit agreement, right?

(Phil. 4:6-7)

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "I do not believe that the United States of America will survive a Barack Obama administration. That is to say, survive an Obama administration as a representative republic guided by the United States Constitution."

Don't count yer chickens before they hatch. It doedn't look like we're gonna survive the current administration.

BTW, wound up here from your gratuitously pious comment at the Cho post. If you don't *get* her rant, then you are the object of it.

Mike Bratton said...

Re, "I do not believe that the United States of America will survive a Barack Obama administration. That is to say, survive an Obama administration as a representative republic guided by the United States Constitution."

Don't count yer chickens before they hatch. It doedn't look like we're gonna survive the current administration.


So you believe that the Bush administration actually has plans to flush the Constitution?

Not that I would go that far, but with the current state of the economy, the government's meddling that precipitated it, and the government's socialistic "solution" to what's going on, Congress and the Bush administration are making it much easier for an Obama administration to do real, potentially irreparable damage.

BTW, wound up here from your gratuitously pious comment at the Cho post. If you don't *get* her rant, then you are the object of it.

Thanks for stopping by.

For those who would like to see just how "gratuitously pious" I was in responding to remarks posted by Margaret Cho, I quote myself thusly and like so (hey, that rhymed!):

Wouldn’t dream of questioning you, Margaret.

You have nothing to question. And those of us who do have a salvific, personal, unending relationship with Jesus Christ–the one thing that makes a person a Christian–aren’t fooled for a millisecond into thinking you’re a Christian in the first place.

My prayer is that it’s not too late for you, and for those individuals posting here who share your perspective, to truly accept Christ as Lord and Savior.


What did I have the temerity to question? An article of hers, one entitled "I'm a Christian, you Bleepers." If you know anything about the woman, you know that she has a marked antipathy for Biblical Christianity (and no, there isn't another kind--I'm just being overly precise).

Seeing her referenced on a news site I frequent prompted me to respond, both at the news site and on her site.

Cho believes that she's qualified to be considered a Christian. Here are her some of her supposed bona fides, with more censorship where needed. Thusly, and like so:

First of all – you bleeping fake Christians - don’t bleeping question my Christianity. I grew up in the church. My grandfather was a minister, who is with God now and talks to me in my dreams from God’s corner office. I am a former Sunday school teacher. I taught the Bible to children and showed them how to love God and invite him into their hearts. I believe in God – but I don’t fear him. God is my best friend. God is my ally. God is my boyfriend. God is my best bleep. I am God’s bleep hag cuz didn’t you know, God is a big bleep...Butch in the streets, femme in the sheets. That is my God."

Whoever you are, I "get" her rant, along with the rest of the anti-Christian bigotry she publishes. Which is why I expressed a hope that she will, one day, actually turn to Christ and be saved.

If that bothers you, that's good. And if you'd care to e-mail me, I'd love to speak with you about what being a Christian really, seriously means.

--Mike

Our lives as we know it.... said...

The worst part is...people need to NOT work on bringing each of the candidates down...we need to use our brains and understand what is being said and promised, and what is at stake. I understand that this "he said, she said" mantra has become the forefront of the elections; however you choose to vote, that is you're right as an American, but we all have to live here afterwards, and the time we spent to build this country and reputation is being torn down by our treatment and this political circus we called US Politics...STOP nit-picking, get the facts and make your decision.

Lynn said...

Bratton,

What is your thoughts on Friday's debate. I didn't listen to it, but I saw it in the bowling alley and I noticed a couple times Obama looked like he fell asleep while McCain was talking.

Mike Bratton said...

"What is your thoughts on Friday's debate. I didn't listen to it, but I saw it in the bowling alley and I noticed a couple times Obama looked like he fell asleep while McCain was talking."

Politics and bowling--perhaps the perfect combination.

The debate between Obama and Sen. McCain can be summed up in one memorable Barackism: "I have a bracelet, too."

Obama is an empty suit, and he displayed just how little he genuinely brings to the table on Friday. While I'm not overwhelmed at the prospect of a McCain win, it was put on display once more that between the two men, Sen. McCain is a much better choice.

--Mike

Benoni Hayes said...

Mr. Bratton,

These are a few personal opinions/observations over the past couple of weeks.

*McCain's strength is when he is 'not' acting like a politician; unfortunately he has been acting like one lately...a lot of posturing, but light on message; it IS about the economy, especially now...wouldn't you agree that it would be prudent to reassure the voters (every time he opens his mouth) that their taxes will not be raised? And if Obama wants to tie him to Bush, why not remind him that treasury revenues have gone up 20% after those 'evil' tax cuts(out of control spending seems to hide this fact). I can't possibly hear every speech and interview, but I sure haven't heard much of this from them...only nonsense about lipstick and other reactionary foolishness...the cancelling(or threats thereof) of interviews/events is coming across as weak or desperate, or both. GET BACK ON MESSAGE!!

*Palin-mania has run its course, and if she is going to be an asset, they've got to quit hiding her like she's a liability. If she's the real deal, it's time to put up or shut up...I for one really do hope she is more than just soundbytes and clever one-liners.

*Short of some major crime, the media isn't going to dare tarnish their darling Obama...it should scare people to the core that we are on the verge of electing a socialist(of course our pres./gov't is about to birth a trillion dollar socialist baby),
but it doesn't seem to be sinking in. So, back to my first observation...GET BACK ON MESSAGE!!

*Our lives and peace of soul do not turn on the election of politicians or the rise and fall of governments, but are preserved in the mercies of a King. Sure we may have opinions, and strong ones at that...but when November 4th has come and gone, we can remain unmoved and unshaken regardless of who will be sworn in come next January.

Sincerely,
Benoni Hayes

Mike Bratton said...

Mr. Hayes, a few things, responding paragraph at a time:

1) Bravo. Sen. McCain is being handled too much.

2) Bravo. It's easier for Sen. McCain to see that Gov. Palin is being over-handled (causing him to dispatch two trusted aides to give her more breathing room) than to see that he, too, is being over-handled.

3) Bravo. Barack Obama would have to commit a felony in full view of a CNN news crew for it to be reported--and it would only be reported if a FOX News crew happened to be there, too.

Be that as it may, he's already committed major "crimes" by continuing to associate with terrorists such as William Ayres, and by perpetuating the problematic beliefs of Saul Alinsky.

4) Bravo, and amen.

--Mike