July 23, 2016

The seemingly scurrilous insinuation that Bernie Sanders is an atheist.

People are acting disgusted at this email — leaked by Guccifer 2.0 to WikiLeaks — from DNC's Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall:
"It might may [sic] no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist."
Last February, I had a post "'Why Not Question Trump’s Faith?'/Why not question everything everyone asserts about religion?"  — after an NRO writer (Kevin D. Williamson) questioned whether Donald Trump's faith. I said (boldface added):
I'm inclined to think we should judge each candidate in proportion to how much he or she relies on religion. If someone forefronts sanctimony, we should examine whether it's a lie. But if a candidate takes a minimal position — claiming a faith but grounding himself in morality that can exist apart from religion (which is what Trump does) — there's nothing to delve into. If it's a lie, it's an insignificant social lie, like saying you love your wife when your feelings have in fact gone cold.

There are no visible atheists or even agnostics at the presidential level of American politics. Do you want to start outing them? Maybe Bernie Sanders. He might be an atheist. What do you think? Want to try to smoke him out? He said:
“I am not actively involved with organized religion... I think everyone believes in God in their own ways... To me, it means that all of us are connected, all of life is connected, and that we are all tied together.”
To my ear, that sounds like an effort to say: Even atheists believe in God... in our own way. A mystical attitude toward all of humanity counts as belief in God.
Last March, I had a post — "How would you recognize an atheist if one appeared in American presidential politics?" — that looked at something Sanders said in a debate. Anderson Cooper prompted him to talk about religion, asking him whether he keeps his "Judaism in the background." Sanders said "No. I am very proud to be Jewish, and being Jewish is so much of what I am." But he proceeded to talk about his Jewishness in terms of history and culture — not religious belief. I was struck by the "absence of forthright atheism":
How would you recognize an atheist if one appeared in American presidential politics? He probably would speak of his family and ethnic background, showing respect and making a connection to a religious tradition, and he would present himself as a moral person with the same kind of values embraced by Americans who find those values in religion. He's not going to say "Look, I'm an atheist. There is no God. I believe in science. And as President, I will consult science, not this 'God' my opponent keeps talking about."
ADDED: Maybe Brad Marshall read the Althouse blog: "I think I read he is an atheist." Written in May 2016, after my posts.

AND: "can we get someone to ask"... Anderson Cooper asked. Correlation, not necessarily causation.

139 comments:

Rusty said...

Honest to god. Who gives a shit.

Gusty Winds said...

A Jew and an Athiest walk into a bar.

And the bar tender says, "How ya doin' Bernie?"

Pettifogger said...

My problems with Bernie, and they are legion, don't include concern for religious beliefs or the lack of them.

Paddy O said...

He's not going to say "Look, I'm an atheist. There is no God. I believe in science. And as President, I will consult science, not this 'God' my opponent keeps talking about.

and

I think everyone believes in God in their own ways... To me, it means that all of us are connected, all of life is connected, and that we are all tied together.”

These are both entirely religious statements. The first is Scientism, invoking science in a religious manner well beyond what science is able to provide or what most scientists are interested in providing. What does it mean to "believe in science"? Believe in a scientific method? How does that apply to politics?

What it really suggests is a belief in a religious doctrine couched in sciency sounding words that provide a basis for ethical and personal decision making?

The second quote is really just expressing a form of Buddhism. So, it's actually a religion.

Atheism is not itself a religion. But a religion does not itself require a deity, so there certainly are atheist approaches to religion, which aren't somehow more privileged or insightful than other religions.

Often a lot less as they tend to be hodge-podge beliefs with incoherent approaches to the world.

People use all sorts of orienting philosophies to help make sense of the world. Some lead to stronger communities and thriving, others don't. All tend to make grand claims on self and others.

But they sound so much more sophisticated!

Roughcoat said...

Rusty: "Honest to god. Who gives a shit."

Exactly.

MayBee said...

The funny part is how outraged the DNC tried to make us- and still tries to make us- when someone has the audacity to question Obama's religion. If one Republican questions Obama's religion, everyone is made to answer for it for the next month. And it's proof of racism.

But this makes it appear as though it is just tough politics to question religion. My head is spinning!!!

Phil 3:14 said...

Rusty: "Honest to god. Who gives a shit."

Many voters do.

(left and right; populist and elitist)

Big Mike said...

I'm an atheist myself. I assure you there's nothing wrong with it.

AprilApple said...

"Can we get someone to ask"

Media answers back "Why yes. - We are happy to help the democrat party. We are democrat operatives."

Notice the media continuously ask Republicans about their faith and beliefs (so they can mock) - while the same media never ask the democrat. Never ask Hillary.

Robert Cook said...

It should be nobody's business what one's religious beliefs or affiliations may be, or even if one has any religious beliefs or affiliations at all. Not only should no one running for office be asked his or her religious beliefs or views, they should all be discouraged from volunteering such information.

Robert Cook said...

I would, however, be highly amused if a candidate replied, "The Church of the Sub-Genius," or even "Discordianism," if asked his or her religious affiliation.

chrisnavin.com said...

Bernie's a sellout, Cook.

I'll see you at the glorious revolution, led by the wisest and best among us!

The People await!

Unknown said...

If we can be as forthright about asking if blacks, Hispanics, women are going to use their race or sex as a guidepost when making decisions.

Bob Ellison said...

Robert Cook, if a candidate claims unbelievably to be, say, a devout Christian, claiming, say, to believe that same-sex marriage is a sin, and then declaims those beliefs, then you could reasonably discern that that candidate is a liar or a disbeliever or a hypocrite.

Leftists don't care about this because all they want is money and power.

Bruce Hayden said...

We know that Hillary was raised Methodist, and still claims membership. The nice thing there is that it, along with other traditionally mainstream Protestant sects, has evolved into being fairly innocuous. Trump, as a Presbyterian, is in the same situation. 150 or so years ago, their members were the ones marching off to war to end slavery. Theologically, those two, along with Congregational, have always been pretty close - I have had ancestors and relatives moving back and forth among them for a long time. The biggest difference seems to me to be organization and structure, with the Methodists being top down, Presbyterian being federal/republican (not coincidentally very much like the structure of the US), and Congregational being low level democratic.

The Drill SGT said...

The Irony of DWS's DNC questioning whether Bernie is a Jew and trying to make hime into a Godless Commie Atheist has a certain dark humor.

Bruce Hayden said...

Sure, I would prefer a Joe Lieberman to a Bernie Sanders any day on religious grounds. But the religion that worried me was Obama's anti-colonial Black liberation/power theology that he sat in Rev Wright's church for 20 years listening to. And we have seen the results, with the status of the US around the world greatly diminished at least partially as a result.

mockturtle said...

My father was an agnostic; my mother is, at 91, still a devout atheist; my sister is a Jewish Buddhist and my brother a kind of pantheist. I am a Christian who believes in separation of church and state but also in the First Amendment right to freely practice one's religion.

I've never voted [or not voted] for any candidate because of his/her religious affiliation or lack thereof but, if a Muslim were running, that might change because of the ideological baggage.

David Begley said...

The big story is the coordination between the DNC and the so-called independent press. Another hacked email shows that a Poltico reporter sent a story to the DNC before his editor.

Rigged system.

shiloh said...

"It should be nobody's business what one's religious beliefs or affiliations may be"

Everything matters in politics, especially if one is running for president!

Repeating Sanders, the socialist, was never vetted re: his personal life of non-accomplishment/living off the govt, then becoming a career politician of no notoriety and would have been destroyed if he was the Dem nominee, religious beliefs notwithstanding.

Hillary knew she could defeat him w/out mentioning any of his personal background outside of politics.

>

Having said this, religion is pretty much a non-factor. Just like Reps have lost the fear factor re: foreign policy after Cheney/Bush disastrous Iraq War fiasco, they have lost the holier than thou factor w/the religious right, etc. after 20/30 years of Reps being hypocrites re: many religious issues, sex scandals notwithstanding.

ie they don't really want to get rid of the abortion issue 'cause it's such a cash cow when it comes to political fundraising ~ a politician's bottom line.

Praise the Lord!

Bruce Hayden said...

Yes, it was designed as a hit job on Sanders, and, yes, it came from the supposedly neutral DNC. But what do you expect? It was supposed to be a coronation for Crooked Hillary, and Sanders got in the way. Not the only thing they did to him, and not the worst.

Robert Cook said...

"Bernie's a sellout, Cook."

Yes...that's why I never supported him. I've been a supporter of Jill Stein since I voted for her in the last election...as I will do again in this election.

Fernandinande said...

Robert Cook said...
I would, however, be highly amused if a candidate replied, "The Church of the Sub-Genius,"


True story: Those assholes just paid me $100.

MayBee said...

The big takeaway: Politicians use religion, family, birth....as a game. To spin up the general public. They will use whatever they can against the other guy and squeal like stuck pigs when their guy is attacked that way. But they don't really care. They know they are playing the game.

But when regular people get all spun up about these things, they are the dupes. The mark. The rube. Don't ever get spun up on *behalf* of a politician. Similarly, don't fall in love with their story. Know that if you do, you are a pawn.

traditionalguy said...

Many Jews believe G-d is there. The Hebrew Prophets more than convince fair readers.

But they also feel like He is the black sheep of the family that used them and let's their enemies hurt them. It's a family thing.

mockturtle said...

@AprilApple: Notice the media continuously ask Republicans about their faith and beliefs (so they can mock) - while the same media never ask the democrat. Never ask Hillary.

George Will is infamous for his contemptuous attitude toward people of faith.

Robert Cook said...

"And we have seen the results, with the status of the US around the world greatly diminished at least partially as a result."

Our status around the world is diminished because we are being seen more and more for what we are: a bully nation, determined to decide or have a substantial say in what every and any country does, and a nation that backs up this determination with coercion or force, either economic or military, or both. This, of course, is not Obama's project, but America's project, and has been carried on by the last many presidents going back decades, and will continue with either Clinton or Trump.

Robert Cook said...

"True story: Those assholes just paid me $100."

Really? Interesting. Why?

AprilApple said...

Ed- this isn't about George Will.

AprilApple said...

"Can we get someone to ask"


Pro-democrat hack media responds: "Normally we only ask republicans those types of questions."

AprilApple said...

How can democrats and pro-democrat hack press coordinate their massage! ? !

If Hillary didn't have the pro-democrat hack press, she would have collapsed a long long time ago.

Fernandinande said...

Robert Cook said...
"True story: Those assholes just paid me $100."
Really? Interesting. Why?


Artwork, er, colored dots on religious iconography, er, trinkets for the peasants.

For example, buy one of these timely yet timeless items and and I get $.02 or something, I dunno, probably getting ripped off, but that's the way of "Bob".

It's a for-profit religion.

PraBob.

buwaya puti said...

Begley, as usual, has the main point.
The religion question is just another McGuffin. One of many.
This is all about coordination between Democratic operatives and the press. The point is the complete, open corruption of the mainstream press, at least in terms of their assertions of professionalism.
The only solution is for every Republican, conservative, whatever, to declare them public enemies, outright, and with due hostility at every opportunity. Identify them individually and collectively as enemies in every interview, speech, personal interaction. Attack each and every one personally. Drive away their viewers, get them to react in rage, enhance the contradictions.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I'm sure I'll botch the quote, but it's from Reversal of Fortune where Ron Jeremy -- oops! I mean Alan Dershowitz -- says to somebody about Claus von Bülow: "How do you trust someone you don't understand?"

I think that goes a long way to explain why someone might actually care about whether someone they might vote for joins in the same delusion.

Conformity über alles, baby!

exiledonmainstreet said...

I vote for politicians not for the American Pope or the Preacher in Chief. I expect that 99.9 percent of them will do whatever is expedient at the time, no matter what their professed religious beliefs are.

I had assumed that the Berniebots would simply fold and follow DNC marching orders (and I assume that's what the DNC thought would happen too) but some are not willing to do so, to the ire of the Pantsuit Police. An irate Hillary fan literally hit an uppity Berniebot with a cane:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74UQn8kcT90

Things could get interesting in Philly.

Paul Snively said...

Sanders, like his fellow Jew Einstein, is a Spinozan pantheist. It's unlikely most Americans would have a problem with that, if it led to the kind of epistemological humility it did in Einstein (and that was, not incidentally, key to Einstein's success).

Sanders' problem is that he exhibits the opposite of epistemological humility, especially in the domain he's most ignorant of: economics. Honeymooning in the Soviet Union should instantly exclude you from consideration for any political position in America. Complaining about too much consumer choice in deodorants should just get you laughed out of the room. I don't care that he doesn't believe in Yahweh (politically; personally, that's his problem). I care a great deal that he doesn't believe in Adam Smith, Karl Menger, Joseph Schumpeter, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard...

AprilApple said...

WE all know the press is in bed with the democrat party. This is more solid proof.

chickelit said...

AprilApple said..Ed- this isn't about George Will.

Did you just call mockturtle educhter?

Crossblog contamination?

Cog said...

Sanders can have pride as a Jew and in his heart and still be atheist. Doesn’t make him a hypocrite. Trump isn’t a hypocrite either, just a public figure with typical lukewarm faith. Clinton is a theist of the kind guided by selective teachings of the historical Jesus. Not much room for hypocracy there. Pense is a Protestant Evangilical, a sincere option for birth Catholic dropouts. The only obvious hypocrite in this campaign is self-descriibed traditional Catholic pro-abort Kaine.

AprilApple said...

Buwaya - Exactly.

The press must be mocked and regarded with contempt, AT ALL TIMES. The press must be treated with total disrespect, like the treacherous poisonous corrupt hacks they are, AT ALL TIMES. Table-turning questions regarding their connection to democrats, should be shoved in their faces - AT ALL TIMES.

Right now Trump is falling into the Cruz distraction zone - right where the media want him. Wake up - Trump. You're at war with the press.

Rae said...

There are a lot of functional atheists - those that act as if what they do in this life makes no difference in the next, whatever that may be - on both sides of the political spectrum.

Would Hillary Clinton act the way she does if she truly believed she would be judged for it in the afterlife? Would Trump?

AprilApple said...

I do not recall the media EVER delving into Hillary's religious faith.

Fritz said...

Aren't communists supposed to be atheists?

Unknown said...

Robert Cook said...
It should be nobody's business what one's religious beliefs or affiliations may be, or even if one has any religious beliefs or affiliations at all. Not only should no one running for office be asked his or her religious beliefs or views, they should all be discouraged from volunteering such information.
7/23/16, 9:04 am

Yes, of course, the less we know about the candidates the better! How irksome it must be for you to tolerate the lesser minds on this forum!

Re: your

Our status around the world is diminished because we are ... determined to decide or have a substantial say in what every and any country does ... and will continue with either Clinton or Trump.

As Trump is quite clearly not offering the status quo in this area, I think you should think again, or listen better. Of course you're entitled to disbelieve him, but I wonder why you don't disbelieve this Dr. Jill Stein for whatever she says. At least you could acknowledge his attempt to address this concern of yours.

Roughcoat said...

150 or so years ago, their members were the ones marching off to war to end slavery.

Presbyterianism was the dominant denomination of the Southern planter/slave-owner upper class. They had developed a theology, rooted in pre-destination, that explicitly condoned chattel slavery. General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson wrote highly articulate--and repulsive--exegeses on the moral and scriptural justifications for slavery. His apologetics on the subject were quite representative of his class. Jackson and his ilk didn't march off to war to end slavery, rather they went to war to preserve it, and spread it.

William said...

Napoleon took the crown from the Pope's hands and crowned himself. He wanted to show that there was no higher power in the land than Napoleon. I would place more trust in a leader who subordinates himself to a power higher than his own vanity.........Wellington was a monarchist. He had no reason to be grateful to the monarchy, but he remained, at all times, loyal and subordinate to the monarchy. Such subordination helped to serve as a check on his vanity and ambition.........I suppose you can say that Bernie considers the constitution a higher power and would subordinate himself to its precepts. But maybe not. He's got a higher morality, but there's no string tying down the hot air balloon of his superior morals.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Right now Trump is falling into the Cruz distraction zone - right where the media want him. Wake up - Trump. You're at war with the press.

7/23/16, 10:43 AM

Yes, that is the maddening thing about Trump. I never thought he was somehow in league with the Pantsuit Brigade, but at times he makes me think of a kid who gets distracted by the fire truck going by or something. For Chrissake, just shut up.

To very roughly paraphrase Flannery O'Connor, Trump needs someone to smack him upside the head every 5 minutes.

boycat said...

Most importantly, candidates should be candid about who and what they are when asked, certainly not dodgy or deceitful, including about religion. And it is a fair area of inquiry, inasmuch as it provides a window into one's most closely held beliefs. Bernie has always been candid about his socialism, even communism (he did after all famously honeymoon in the Soviet Union), and of his Jewish heritage. But then, so was Marx. And to Marx religion was an unwanted distraction when it came to political matters. So I'd say it's fair to assume that of Bernie as well.

I'm sure all those Jews fled the Soviet Union because Marxism/Socialism/Communism was so consistent with their religious beliefs.

William said...

From what I've read the Quaker faith was the first organized religion to take a stand against slavery. The members of the traditional religions like Anglicans, Catholics, and Jews were the last to get on board. Except for the Muslims. Like our southern brethren, they fought wars to defend their right to own slaves......I'm reading the Chernow bio of Rockefeller. His Baptist congregation were all fervent abolitionists, as was he. His wife's family maintained a stop on the Underground Railway. ......I think in the end that it was capitalism and not religion that vanquished slavery. Washington explicitly wrote that if you wanted to get a good day's work out of a man, you had to hire and not enslave him. Slavery, in the end, is not the most effective way of exploiting man's labor.

AprilApple said...

Democrats hate Christians, but they love to manipulate Christians.

hombre said...

"Praise the Lord!" (9:33)

Did I mention that I have a dog named Shiloh. He's an atheist too. Since he sometimes pisses in his own crate, I suspect he is also a Democrat.

Robert Cook said...

"It's a for-profit religion."

Well...of course. They all are!

AprilApple said...

Christians bashing by horrid leftists. *yawn*

Christians do all sorts of quiet good, and you mock them. F. U.

AprilApple said...

Leftists worship the state and the liars who fool them about it.

HT said...

Ann A

An atheist is someone who says there is no God. You are not saying he is an atheist so much as you are saying he is a liar.

Paddy O said...

"It should be nobody's business what one's religious beliefs or affiliations may be, or even if one has any religious beliefs or affiliations at all."

This is a religious statement. You are asserting what other people must believe and how they must assess.

Roughcoat said...

The members of the traditional religions like Anglicans, Catholics, and Jews were the last to get on board.

Incorrect.

Anglicans, Catholics, and Jews are not "religions" they are people. Anglicans and Catholics are both Christian denominations; the religion of the Jews is Judaism.

On 25 March 1807 Anglican-dominated Britain formally abolished the slave trade and dispatched warships to suppress the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The U.S. Navy joined in this effort as early as 1820, 41 years before the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War. Subsequently in 1842, and in keeping with the protocols of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, the U.S. assigned the formally named "Africa Squadron" to take up station off the coasts of West Africa for the purpose of intercepting slave ships and suppressing the slave trade.

More's the point, chattel slavery was effectively and mostly if not formally abolished in Western Rurope in the Middle Ages, and well before the Protestant Reformation.

German Lutheran immigrants and Irish Catholic immigrants to the northern United States volunteered in vast numbers to join the Union Army for the twin purpose of ending slavery and preserving the Union. They regarded slavery as a moral evil like unto the enslavement of the Hebrews by the Egyptians in the book of Exodus. It was an offense to their Christian faith. I know this for a fact: 5 male members of my family from Ireland fought for the Union in the Civil War; two were KIA and the others were WIA.

Name one war in modern times that Christians or Muslims fought for the express political purpose of preserving slavery.

AprilApple said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Real American said...

Obama is an atheist, he just pretends otherwise.

Paddy O said...

"Presbyterianism was the dominant denomination of the Southern planter/slave-owner upper class."

Also Methodists. There were a number of groups who split off from Methodists over the issue of slavery, such as the Wesleyan Church.

Roughcoat said...

Also, it is incorrect to categorize Anglican and Catholic Christianity, and Judaism, as "traditional religions."

Roughcoat said...

Also Methodists.

Methodism in the North was very strongly abolitionist.

damikesc said...

Bernie lacks the balls to do what Cruz did and not come ut fully behind the criminal running for the Dems.

Roughcoat said...

Name one war in modern times that Christians or Muslims fought for the express political purpose of preserving slavery.

Apart from the Confederate South, that is. And even Southerners put forth the lie that they were fighting for "states' rights": which meant, per force, the right of the states to have slavery.

Robert Cook said...

"This is a religious statement. You are asserting what other people must believe and how they must assess."

It's a political statement, not a religious statement.

Yancey Ward said...

It is hard to have any sympathy for Sanders. He had an opportunity to knock her out over her ethics, but chose for some odd reason not to until it was already too damned late.

That the DNC really was just another Clinton Campaign outfit is just icing on the cake. Serves Sanders right.

Original Mike said...

"It is hard to have any sympathy for Sanders. He had an opportunity to knock her out over her ethics, but chose for some odd reason not to until it was already too damned late."

As hard as it is for me to understand, Democrats didn't care about her emails. Bernie's attack would have backfired.

Paddy O said...

"It's a political statement, not a religious statement."

That is your distinction. It is, of course, a meaningless one in the course of world history. When you assert about what people must believe and how they must express their beliefs you are asserting your religious perspective. Claiming somehow it is political is no more and no less than what everyone has done throughout history in light of their beliefs. Of course it is political. It is also religious. You cannot just tell people what sphere of life they can and cannot think about their various beliefs, forcing people into your subjective categories. You just see your religious perspectives as somehow superseding others. Which is entirely fine! Everyone does it.

jdniner said...

But would you then question Hilary's faith or would that be out of bounds and dark? Her main youth mentor was a person who admired Lucifer way beyond the level of a goth emo teenager.

jdniner said...

I could see myself voting for Bernie. I thought about it a lot. I didn't in the primary but thought if he made it into the election even as a 3rd party candidate I would pull the level for him. I was disappointed when he bailed out and disappeared from the limelight. He's just a footnote now. I see his followers crowing about what progress he brought to the country. False. He did the opposite. He stopped short.

Static Ping said...

I'm an atheist. There is no God. I believe in science.

Anyone who genuinely makes this statement does not know what science is.

Birkel said...

Causation need not be priced. None of the people reading this blog was born yesterday. There are not enough turnip trucks for all of us to have fallen off in the blast 24 hours.

I mean, really!

rcocean said...

As usual we have a double standard and we need one consistent standard. If someone is an atheist, let them be honest about it. We learn everything else about our candidates.

OTOH, does anyone really think Bill and Hillary or Obama or Trump or McCain or Dole really give a rats ass about religion? Carter and Bush II made a big show about their faith, but how did that really effect any big policy decision?

rcocean said...

And of course Bernie is an atheist. Why not be honest about it? His Jewishness is nothing more than a tribal identification.

Static Ping said...

Religion does matter for political candidates as it provides the person's philosophy of life which will necessarily impact their through process and decision making.

I have this very solid rule that I do not vote for anyone who demands human sacrifices to get the sun to rise in the morning.

Robert Cook said...

"You cannot just tell people what sphere of life they can and cannot think about their various beliefs, forcing people into your subjective categories. You just see your religious perspectives as somehow superseding others."

No. This is not about what I think people should believe. I have no opinion about that, as regards religious beliefs. But, as our constitution separates church and state, there is no religious litmus test for anyone seeking office, and it should not be made a de facto one by inquiring into the religious views or affiliations of any seeking office or by expecting them to pander to the respective religious beliefs of their constituencies by making a display of their own.

The important thing about those seeking our votes for office is whether we agree with or support what they propose to do to resolve the civic problems of the day and whether they will obey the law and constitution in seeking such resolutions. There's no pertinent reason for an office-seeker or -holder to display or discuss his or her religious views in this context.

jimbino said...

Snively says: ...a great deal that he doesn't believe in Adam Smith, Karl Menger, Joseph Schumpeter, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard

An atheist has no belief in gods; a scientist does not believe in anything, especially in the value of belief itself. We honor the cited economists for their rationality and clear thinking; saying we "believe in" them is inaccurate and demeaning.

Sanders would best be called a "ceremonial deist" -- a term that even Sandra Day O'Connor would understand.

William said...

To answer some of roughcoat's objections: Maybe establishment religion as opposed to traditional religion would be a better choice of words. The Quaker religion explictly forbade its members from owning slaves. It was the first religion to take such a stand. You couldn't be a Quaker and own slaves. Various Methodist and Baptist congregations took the same stand, but later in the game. The Catholcs and Anglcans later still...... It's a fine difference but being opposed to the slave trade is different than being opposed to owning slaves. Neither Disraeli nor Gladstone were willing to side with the Confederacy but neither did they explicitly denounce it......The subtext of many of the wars fought against British imperialism were for the right to own slaves. The Mahdi rebellion for example......Not all of my Irish ancestors were draft dodgers. They fought for the northern side, but the Fenian cause was the holy one. The Civil War was just something they got roped into.

John said...

Is Jewishness a race or a religion? I've heard plenty of times that it is both, or either. That is, one can be religiously Jewish without being ethnically Jewish. I could convert to Judaism but I would not be ethnically Jewish.

On the other hand, someone like Bernie is ethnically Jewish, born of Jewish parents and ancestors. No need for him to be religious or even a believer.

There is no reason why Bernie can't be both Jewish and atheist at the same time.

John HEnry

Lem said...

Bernie is a when-in-Rome politician.

buwaya puti said...

Its absurd to judge candidates solely on their promised policies.
Thats not what leadership is like, nor politics, nor human nature.
Events and circumstances, including information previously unknown, can force changes in policy ambitions even for one who has been sincere in his promises.
The best basis for selecting a politician to back, is whats known of his character, his loyalties, his tribal affiliations. This includes religion, as both a mark of character (if it can be determined to be sincere; insincerity is itself a mark) and a marker for tribal affiliation.

Unknown said...

John said...
Is Jewishness a race or a religion?


Which one gets sent to the gas chamber?

Roughcoat said...

Re William, To answer some of roughcoat's objections, etc.

A lot of Christians, untold numbers, fought and died to end chattel slavery, and the vast majority were motivated to do so by their understanding of the Christian faith and/or interpretation of Christian scriptures. They did so notwithstanding, in many instances, the absence of a formal declaration of abolition by their religious leaders and authorities. Abolition was de facto, a circumstance that usually precedes and establishes the necessary foundations for formal rulings. The Madhist uprising and war was a combination religious jihad and reaction to Ottoman Rule. It was not fought for the express purpose of preserving slavery in the Sudan, but rather to liberate the Sudan from Ottoman rule and from the Egyptian officials and infidels such as Charles Gordon who administered the Sudan on the Ottomans' behalf. Significantly, a primary cause of war was the ongoing effort by the British--those damn Anglicans again!--to suppress the slave trade in the Sudan. As for the "fine difference" you mention: yes, it is very fine indeed, one entailing substantial expenditures of treasure ... and blood.

Unknown said...

BTW John, that was not an attack on you.

Roughcoat said...

Various Methodist and Baptist congregations took the same stand, but later in the game.

Many took the same stand quite early in the game, without formal declarations from church leaders and authorities. They acted, in other words, just as Protestants are wont to act--encouraged and obliged to act, as a matter of faith--i.e., according to the dictates of their conscience and their understanding and interpretation of the scriptures.

Similarly, my Irish Catholic and Church of Ireland (i.e. Anglican) predecessors--great grandfather and great grand uncles--acted, i.e. enlisted in the Union Army, and as we Catholics say, according to the dictates "of an informed conscience." It's in the Catechism, you can look it up.

Robert Cook said...

"The best basis for selecting a politician to back, is whats known of his character, his loyalties, his tribal affiliations. This includes religion, as both a mark of character (if it can be determined to be sincere; insincerity is itself a mark) and a marker for tribal affiliation."

That's no reliable basis at all. A claimed religious belief or affiliation gives exactly zero indication of a person's character. For one thing, it is easy to lie about such things; for another, even presumably sincere believers in religion commit egregious sins against their own religious codes and/or the secular laws of their society.

The only halfway reliable clue to a person's character is his or her known behavior over time, especially as that behavior compares with his or her stated positions and promises.

This is how I decided I could never vote for Obama, no matter what he ever said or promised: during his campaign for his first term as president, there was a controversy over the the Bush administration having illegally tapped Americans' phone-calls. (How quaint, in light of what we have learned from Edward Snowden's revelations.)

As a consequence of this controversy, the FISA law, which governs wiretapping of international phone calls involving Americans, was revised, giving the government much greater latitude in tapping Americans' phone-calls without a warrant, and giving the government more time to conduct such wire-tapping before being required to obtain a warrant from the FISA courts. The law also, very controversially, extended retroactive legal immunity to the telecom companies for their collusion with the government in knowingly committing crimes by facilitating these wiretaps. Under existing law at the time, the telecoms were required to refuse to assist in illegal wiretapping of Americans' phone communications. The revised law basically legalized what had been illegal previously.

These provisions--the increased prerogatives given to the government to wiretap Americans without warrant, and granting immunity to the telecoms from legal consequences--were very controversial at the time.

Candidate Obama promised he would not only oppose the revised law if it contained the legal protections extended to the telecoms, but would support a filibuster to prevent its passage. However, when the bill revising the FISA law came to a vote, Obama not only didn't support a filibuster to block it, he actually voted for it!

Well, damn! Here he was, not even President yet, and he was already breaking promises! It struck me that, if, as a candidate with no guarantee of winning the election, he was willing to so blatantly violate his stated position and promise on this specific and controversial issue, thereby possibly alienating his constituents, what inhibitions would he ever have in saying/promising one thing and doing exactly the opposite anytime he felt like it as President? If anything, as president, he could be even more brazen in violating his promises, under cover of "exigent circumstance," or just because, ("just because I'm president now!").

I didn't need to know a thing about Obama's religious or "tribal" affiliations to make a judgment about his character. His behavior in this matter told all that needed to be known about his character. (I believe, when asked about this, he offered the lie that, when President, his administration would "revisit" the law and make appropriate adjustments. That happened. NOT.)

I have never had any reason to revise my judgment of Obama's utter lack of character or convictions, a lack he made vividly apparent before ever becoming president, to those paying attention.

Moneyrunner said...

It’s perfectly reasonable to use religion as a factor when choosing whether to vote for a candidate. It fact, it would be extremely foolish to ignore it. Refusing to reveal one’s religious affiliation, or lack thereof, is simply a way of shutting a window to the way an individual will act. Religious faith has a great deal to do with how someone will act. Has anyone noticed that one particular faith has caused quite a number of fatalities throughout the world recently? And before anyone responds by noting that Christians also kill people, let us note that they don’t blow people up, behead them, stab them or run them over while screaming “Jesus is Lord.”

There is no religious test in the Constitution, just as there is no test for sanity, incurable illness, sexual orientation, sadism, or any one of a number of other characteristics that should be considered when deciding who to vote for. Of course candidates for office will lie about their beliefs just as they will about other things, but it is foolish to refuse to consider belief systems since they are guides to how they will act once in office.

It’s as foolish to refuse to inquire about an individual’s religion as it is to refuse to discuss his medical history. Religion is the basic building block for many people’s personal philosophy.

I’m of the belief that Bush’s religious faith is what caused him to make a fatal error in Iraq. I’m not talking about invading the country. I’m referring to the fact that he believed that democratic elections would transform a country and culture with no history of democracy. He said this: “I believe there's an Almighty, and I believe the Almighty's great gift to each man and woman in this world is the desire to be free. This isn't America's gift to the world, it is a universal gift to the world, and people want to be free.”
He was wrong, or at the very least he was wrong to believe that this was the primary objective of the various factions in Iraq. Which led him to focus on nation-building instead of good, just, government.

And it is obvious that Obama’s faith, his personal philosophy, his skin color (also not a test for office) have a great deal to do with how he operates in office. In fact, he said as much during the election, claiming that his skin, his exposure to Islam and his multicultural upbringing would make other nations love us more after his election. It was a persuasive argument to many people. He was wrong, but it got him elected which is all that mattered.

Clyde said...

I'm shocked, shocked! that the DNC was in the bag for Hillary Clinton and trying to sabotage Bernie. Shocked, I say!

NOT!

chickelit said...

Robert Cook said...It should be nobody's business what one's religious beliefs or affiliations may be, or even if one has any religious beliefs or affiliations at all. Not only should no one running for office be asked his or her religious beliefs or views, they should all be discouraged from volunteering such information.

That certainly didn't help Mitt Romney. You a few other lefties here have a certain integrity and so I hope not to run across any past transgressions of that belief in old comments.

John said...

Blogger Unknown said...

Which one gets sent to the gas chamber?

You didn't have to be Jewish to go to the National Socialist gas chambers.

Just ask 3,000,000 Polish Christians.

Except they won't answer. They're dead.

John Henry

Laslo Spatula said...

1973: Lee Majors is "The Six-Million-Dollar Man".

He couldn't have been worth 5 million dollars?

7 million dollars?

Six Million.

We will pretend to ignore where Nazi Bionics came from.

I am Laslo.



n.n said...

Atheism speaks to a faith. It does not remark on a religious/moral philosophy.

jimbino said...

William says: "Maybe establishment religion as opposed to traditional religion would be a better choice of words. The Quaker religion explictly forbade its members from owning slaves. It was the first religion to take such a stand. You couldn't be a Quaker and own slaves. Various Methodist and Baptist congregations took the same stand, but later in the game. The Catholcs and Anglcans later still...... It's a fine difference but being opposed to the slave trade is different than being opposed to owning slaves. Neither Disraeli nor Gladstone were willing to side with the Confederacy but neither did they explicitly denounce it."

in proper English would read,

"...The Quaker religion explictly forbade its members to own slaves. ...It's a fine difference but being opposed to the slave trade is different from being opposed to owning slaves. Neither Disraeli nor Gladstone was willing to side with the Confederacy but neither did he explicitly denounce it."

and Robert Cook says, "...if, as a candidate with no guarantee of winning the election, he was willing to so blatantly violate his stated position and promise on this specific and controversial issue, thereby possibly alienating his constituents, what inhibitions would he ever have if, as a candidate with no guarantee of winning the election, he was willing to so blatantly violate his stated position and promise on this specific and controversial issue, thereby possibly alienating his constituents, what inhibitions would he ever have..."

in English would read:

"if, as a candidate with no guarantee of winning the election, he were willing to so blatantly violate his stated position and promise on this specific and controversial issue, thereby possibly alienating his constituents, what inhibitions would he ever have...."

Michael Murray said...

Whether or not Bernie's an atheist or not is irrelevant. The real lesson here is that the DNC and the press are working hand in hand to get Hilary elected. That they are willing to smear, slim and lie about anyone who stands in her way.

Unknown said...

Go on John, educate me about the depredations of the Nazis. Gypsies, gays, disabled, etc.

'But what about the Poles?' is not responsive, however. My point, which was responsive to your first, is that converting to Christianity wouldn't save you. Chasid and sheygets alike were destined for the ovens.

I freely admit that I don't know what would have happened to a Christian, atheist, whatever, who converted to Judaism, only inasmuch as I don't know if the Nazis were set up to detect such rare birds. I believe that Christians who married Jews were allowed/encouraged to save themselves via divorce.

Quaestor said...

Believe in a scientific method? How does that apply to politics?

An appreciation of the scientific method, especially its limitations, is vital to sound politics. Democrats are wont to treat scientists as an oracular priesthood. Consider all the "carcinogens" (we don't hear that word very often these days) that were banned on the authority of ham-fisted research using a strain of laboratory mice with a strong genetic predisposition to cancer.

Unknown said...

Also Ann, maybe you're not much on intent, but the idea of using this tactic is pretty obviously intended scurrilously. Even a dog knows the difference between being stepped on and being kicked.

It's as if someone were to call you a prostitute, or an intellectual fraud, whether or not it was true and whether or not you were ashamed of it and whether or not it would harm you professionally.

Robert Cook said...

"I’m of the belief that Bush’s religious faith is what caused him to make a fatal error in Iraq. I’m not talking about invading the country. I’m referring to the fact that he believed that democratic elections would transform a country and culture with no history of democracy. He said this: 'I believe there's an Almighty, and I believe the Almighty's great gift to each man and woman in this world is the desire to be free. This isn't America's gift to the world, it is a universal gift to the world, and people want to be free.'

"He was wrong, or at the very least he was wrong to believe that this was the primary objective of the various factions in Iraq. Which led him to focus on nation-building instead of good, just, government."



You assume we went to Iraq to "bring freedom and democracy" to the Iraqis and to do "nation-building." Nothing could be further from the truth. The war was about gaining control of access to Iraq's oil, and about establishing our own dominance in the region. The primary rationale put forth to win public acceptance of this needless and illegal war was to "protect us from Iraq's WMD which will kill us all!", which was self-evident hooey. They created a list of goals, and "freeing the Iraqis" was somewhere down there on the list, as all our wars--all wars of every nation, typically--are justified for either self-defense and/or humanitarian reasons, but they are usually for neither reason.

That aside--as I'm sure you'll disagree with me--this is another reason to be wary of politicians who claim to be guided by religion. Once in a while you may get someone who actually means it, and this can lead to all sorts of calamity.

Quaestor said...

I freely admit that I don't know what would have happened to a Christian, atheist, whatever, who converted to Judaism, only inasmuch as I don't know if the Nazis were set up to detect such rare birds. I believe that Christians who married Jews were allowed/encouraged to save themselves via divorce.

The Nazis defined the Jews as a race, and not as a religion. This is not to say that they were indifferent to the culture of Judaism, they were out to destroy that as well, but conversion or atheism made no difference, if both of one's parents were Jews, one was doomed to be "expelled from the Aryan Gemeinschaft".

After the promulgation of the Nuremberg Laws, the "Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor", divorce wasn't necessary. Marriages between Aryans and Jews were outlawed, and existing marriages were nullified. The children of such unions were classified as mongrels, ein Mischling des ersten Grades and their fate was at the whim of Nazi officialdom. Most were deported and killed, but a few escaped and even became Nazi officials themselves.

Quaestor said...

Robert Cook wrote: The war was about gaining control of access to Iraq's oil.

Proof, please.

Yancey Ward said...

As hard as it is for me to understand, Democrats didn't care about her emails. Bernie's attack would have backfired.

No, Mike, that is wrong- quite a few would have cared if someone in the Democratic primary had been willing to take up the charge against her. When Sanders make it clear he didn't think anything of it, that is when all her voters stopped caring- I mean, really, who are they to disagree with Sanders. By the time he started to make it an issue, the last primary had been run, and then his supporters go off on Comey for doing what Sanders had done last Fall.

Rusty said...


Robert Cook wrote: The war was about gaining control of access to Iraq's oil.

We failed miserably.

Quaestor said...

No proof forthcoming, eh? Forgive me for thinking you had an intellectually honest bone in your body.

Quaestor said...

One hour later and nothing but crickets.

See Cookie google. Google, Cookie, google.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook wrote: The war was about gaining control of access to Iraq's oil.

"We failed miserably."


Hardly.

Western Oil Interests gained big contracts in Iraq.


Oil is the only real reason Western powers have ever had any interest in the Middle East.

Now, does this mean everything has gone as planned? That it's been a cakewalk free of problems? No. We were so sure of our own power we thought it would be a quick and easy win, as the Confederates believed would be the case in their war to secede from the union. However, oil was our incentive and goal and our overall objective of insuring control of the oil fields for Western Oil interests was achieved.

Unknown said...

Robert, the chart shows exactly one American firm that I recognize, Exxon, in one of the sections. You're telling me that we spent all that blood and treasure to buy in for France, Holland, UK and China?

Quaestor said...

See Cookie google. Google, Cookie, google. See Google fatally undermine Cookie's assertion.

Quaestor said...

However, oil was our incentive and goal and our overall objective of insuring control of the oil fields for Western Oil interests was achieved.

This was not your original claim, nor is your revised claim proven. Just as the Confederates lost their slaves by attacking Fort Sumter, intentions and results are not always in correlation.

Google, Cookie, google. All your work is still ahead of you.

Unknown said...

No, Q, I think he had a job once, though now he lives on inheritance or remittance or something.

walter said...

Berno twitter not mentioning DNC backstabbing..but offers up this rich irony:

Bernie Sanders ‏@BernieSanders Jul 21
Trump: “I alone can fix this.” Maybe he doesn’t understand that a president has to work with Congress.
--
Well..well....

mockturtle said...

Maybe he doesn’t understand that a president has to work with Congress.

Or, like BO, simply impose executive orders.

Quaestor said...

Maybe he doesn’t understand that a president has to work with Congress.

That never stopped Obama's unfixing of things.

walter said...

Prior revolutionary Berno:
“I agree with President Obama, who used executive orders, to protect families, because the Congress, the House was unable or refused to act. And in fact I would go further,” Sanders said.

Robert Cook said...

"This was not your original claim...."

Sure it was. When I say "so we can control the oil resources," I mean the Western Powers and the oil corporations for whom we act. It's not as if the United States was ever going to directly control or manage the oil fields. We're doing this for the oil interests. Do you have to have everything spelled out for you? "We" means "western corporations." All we do we do for them.

I'm sure this was all discussed at the meeting Cheney had in his first few months as Presi--er, as "Vice" President--with oil company execs in his office. No minutes or any reporting on what was discussed at that meeting has ever been released.

Quaestor said...

Sure it was. When I say "so we can control the oil resources," I mean the Western Powers and the oil corporations for whom we act.

Bullshit. Ex post facto bullshit, at that.

AllenS said...

John said...
Is Jewishness a race or a religion?

It can be both. My DNA says that I'm 3% European Jewish, and I've never been in a Jewish place of worship, nor have any of my known relatives.

Robert Cook said...

Oh, scratch that. I guess the meeting never happened as none of the oil companies sent representatives.

Quaestor said...

I'm sure this was all discussed at the meeting Cheney had in his first few months as Presi--er, as "Vice" President--with oil company execs in his office. No minutes or any reporting on what was discussed at that meeting has ever been released.

I'm sure a bullshit-addicted bullshit artist like yourself would be.

The same "no report has ever been released" trope is evidence of anything you like, which is to say evidence of nothing.

Sebastian said...

Prediction: This will be one of the last elections when someone like Bernie has to hedge and the DNC can use atheism as a smear against Dems. It might work against GOPers for another cycle--you know, in the form of no-real-Christian-would hypocrisy mongering--but that'll be it.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ok...but isn't the bigger story that you guys now have proof that the DNC was working (in a coordinated manner) against Bernie? Like, I get that this particular example involves the tactic of implying that he does not believe in God (and whether that's accurate or should be insulting/hurtful at all) is a big deal, but surely the BIGGER deal is that this opposition strategy discussion/action took place within the DNC?!

Unknown said...

Meanwhile the acceptance of Bernie Sanders has already more or less legitimized socialism as a party to the national discourse. That is a true pity and shame.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Roughcoat said...General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson wrote highly articulate--and repulsive--exegeses on the moral and scriptural justifications for slavery. His apologetics on the subject were quite representative of his class. Jackson and his ilk didn't march off to war to end slavery, rather they went to war to preserve it, and spread it.

Wikipedia - Jackson, section "slavery"

Little as he was known to the white inhabitants of Lexington, Jackson was revered by many of the African Americans in town, both slaves and free blacks. He was instrumental in the organization in 1855 of Sunday School classes for blacks at the Presbyterian Church. His second wife, Mary Anna Jackson, taught with Jackson, as "he preferred that my labors should be given to the colored children, believing that it was more important and useful to put the strong hand of the Gospel under the ignorant African race, to lift them up."[26] The pastor, Dr. William Spottswood White, described the relationship between Jackson and his Sunday afternoon students: "In their religious instruction he succeeded wonderfully. His discipline was systematic and firm, but very kind. ... His servants reverenced and loved him, as they would have done a brother or father. ... He was emphatically the black man's friend." He addressed his students by name and they, in turn, referred to him affectionately as "Marse Major".[27]

Jackson's family owned six slaves in the late 1850s. Three (Hetty, Cyrus, and George, a mother and two teenage sons) were received as a wedding present. Another, Albert, requested that Jackson purchase him and allow him to work for his freedom; he was employed as a waiter in one of the Lexington hotels and Jackson rented him to VMI. Amy also requested that Jackson purchase her from a public slave auction and she served the family as a cook and housekeeper. The sixth, Emma, was a four-year-old orphan with a learning disability, accepted by Jackson from an aged widow and presented to his second wife, Mary Anna, as a welcome-home gift.[28] After the American Civil War began he appears to have hired out or sold his slaves. Mary Anna Jackson, in her 1895 memoir, said, "our servants ... without the firm guidance and restraint of their master, the excitement of the times proved so demoralizing to them that he deemed it best for me to provide them with good homes among the permanent residents."[29] James Robertson wrote about Jackson's view on slavery:

Jackson neither apologized for nor spoke in favor of the practice of slavery. He probably opposed the institution. Yet in his mind the Creator had sanctioned slavery, and man had no moral right to challenge its existence. The good Christian slaveholder was one who treated his servants fairly and humanely at all times.[30]

Moneyrunner said...

Cooke is sort of funny when he goes all conspiracy theory. Cheney meets with oil executives. Conspiracy! No report was ever issued. That confirms the conspiracy! You know what would be definitive proof? That the meeting had never been reported! Proof positive!!!!

If western oil companies pump Iraqi oil it's proof that the war was for Iraq's oil. If western oil companies don't pump all of Iraq's oil it's a failed war for oil.

I'm convinced! But since the oil companies run the country why did Obama leave Iraq and allow ISIS to take over some of the oil? Is Obama in cahoots with Big Wind? Is Big Wind outbidding Big Oil for control of the US government?

This is getting complicated but I'm sure Cooke will tell us all about it.

chickelit said...

AllenS wrote: It can be both. My DNA says that I'm 3% European Jewish, and I've never been in a Jewish place of worship, nor have any of my known relatives.

It seems unlikely that those genes got in your family tree at a synagogue.

walter said...

Perhaps Bernie cares about "damn emails" now.

mockturtle said...

Perhaps Bernie cares about "damn emails" now.

Even if he does, he lacks the balls to do anything about it. He's just one of the Queen's Weenies now.

Unknown said...

You know, the convention hasn't come yet. He can still take action that would make them regret their lack of morality. He could pull a Cruz or a Cruz-plus. He could get up on stage and say that he and the American people have been betrayed and that he withdrew his endorsement and was going to run on the green party line (I guess endorsing Trump is too impossible). Talk about your operation chaos! What would they do, pull him off the stage with a cane? Shoot him?

Unknown said...

Remember the words of William Burroughs:

The game is rigged! Take the place apart!

Bernie supporters can be turned, people. Most are young and dumb but well meaning. Patience, one at a time, not all at one sitting. They can be shown that Trump is not the Devil and that he represents more change than Hillary does.

HeideCruise said...

Bernie supporters despise Trump and if you think they can be influenced to vote for Trump you don't know too many Bernie supporters or are delusional. Bernie himself has said he will do all in his power to make sure Trump does not get anywhere near The White House.Who do you think many of the protesters outside of Trump rallies were?

chickelit said...

Who do you think many of the protesters outside of Trump rallies were?

In Chicago, they were Hillary goons posing as Bernie supporters. Two birds, one stone.

Hillary is the root of political evil in America.

Unknown said...

Perhaps that was before you guys were revealed to have shafted him in a perfectly disgusting way. Has Sanders less self-respect than Ted Cruz?

(Also, since Bernie is a commie, and the Guccifer hack is supposed to be a veil for the involvement of Russia, perhaps he will see fit to act upon these revelations.)

I only know what I see. But there are a number of factors that may well have you whistling past the graveyard.

- Among other things, the Bernie voters tended to be more white, the natural constituency that Trump is accused of appealing to and that Obama policies are literally killing.
- Young, therefore malleable.
- Millennial, therefore, as Ivanka says, neither D nor R.
- freshly disillusioned by the rotten tactics used against him fully validating the conspiratorial outlook
- they wouldn't have been Bernie voters if they liked Hillary
- Trump is actually better on the issues that matter to them.

Against this you have incredible forces of pressure and indoctrination being applied to them, but there are still some who will take the red pill. They should be encouraged. There is one candidate who's going to change the system. And it ain't her.

chickelit said...

Unknown said...You know, the convention hasn't come yet. He can still take action that would make them regret their lack of morality.

Incredulously -- I use that word because I followed him pretty closely -- he is going sell out his core principles and campaign for her. I've never seen such a complete volte-farce. Then again, I cannot fathom how much money was dangled.

walter said...

Berneres who were constant FB posters during the actual primary are not posting any concern over the DNC burn..though they got animated over the big Melania plagiarism issue.
They want free shit, class warfare and at least lip service to CAGW.

Rusty said...

"Counterpunch"
You write for those guys , bob?
So bottom line , after reading your articles, is that American companies that monitor, refine and ship petroleum products got work in Iraq. We didn't actually get any oil as you implied.
Do you know why American companies got those contracts, Bob?
I'll tell you.
In the oil industry everything is big. Pipes are big, pressure vessels are big, valves and electronics are big and complex.In fact the bigger and more complex a system is the fewer the people that know how to deal with it. American companies pioneered the mechanic and processes of the oil industry. No matter what international company bids on a petroleum contract somewhere in the process will be an American company with the expertise to get the job done.
As an example. You want to build a commercial airliner? You have a choice of three companies from which to procure the most reliable jet engines in the world. Two of which are American. Your insurer and your bank will insist on one of them.
OK. Now stick your little fingers in your ears and go LALALALALALA.

Roughcoat said...

HoodlumDoodlum:

The apologetic you posted on Thomas Jackson confirms that man's repulsiveness. Consider, I mean really consider, this passage: "The pastor, Dr. William Spottswood White, described the relationship between Jackson and his Sunday afternoon students: "In their religious instruction he succeeded wonderfully. His discipline was systematic and firm, but very kind. ... His servants reverenced and loved him, as they would have done a brother or father. ... He was emphatically the black man's friend." He addressed his students by name and they, in turn, referred to him affectionately as "Marse Major"."

This, according to his church pastor--hardly an unbiased or dispassionate source. I mean, seriously: The "black man's friend"? And they referred to him affectionately as "Marse Major." Well, sho' nuff, I have no doubt they did in his presence. No doubt as well, they was holding their hats in their hands and just lookin' at the ground and a-shufflin' their feet when they spoke with Marse Major. Wonder how all those happy darkies referred to him private, among themselves?

As for "He probably opposed the institution": That's just pure speculation, unwarranted by the facts of his life. He owned slaves. He fought and died to preserve slavery. Strange way to oppose it, that.

What a crock of shit.

Robert Cook said...

Rusty,

You're the one with your fingers in your ears shouting "Lalalalala!" The articles point out that prior to our illegal invasion of Iraq, Western oil interests were largely shut out of Iraq. Subsequently, and now, Western oil interests are IN.

From the start, it was apparent the war was an oil grab, as that is what the west has been doing in the middle east for decades. We had no humanitarian or egalitarian or self-defense purposes for invading Iraq, so what's left?

It was all in the original name for the invasion: Operation Iraq Liberation

mikee said...

So if Bernie being an atheist is supposedly bad, what does that make Bill & Hillary, modern Pharisees? Or perhaps just the scum rising to the top?

William Chadwick said...

Whether or not Sanders is, in conventional terms, an atheist, he certainly is a true believer in the Cult of the State--the oldest, deadliest religion of them all.

Rusty said...

Sure, Bob. Whatever you say.