American Sniper: A Review

Sunday, January 25, AD 2015

“I am a strong Christian. Not a perfect one—not close. But I strongly believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible. When I die, God is going to hold me accountable for everything I’ve done on earth. He may hold me back until last and run everybody else through the line, because it will take so long to go over all my sins. “Mr. Kyle, let’s go into the backroom. . . .” Honestly, I don’t know what will really happen on Judgment Day. But what I lean toward is that you know all of your sins, and God knows them all, and shame comes over you at the reality that He knows. I believe the fact that I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior will be my salvation. But in that backroom or whatever it is when God confronts me with my sins, I do not believe any of the kills I had during the war will be among them. Everyone I shot was evil. I had good cause on every shot. They all deserved to die.”
Chis Kyle
My wife and I, the kids are back in college and law school, saw American Sniper at a movie theater in Morris, Illinois on Saturday January 24.  It was the second performance of the day, beginning at 1:00 PM, and the theater still was almost full.  After seeing the movie, the one term that seems to me to apply is stunning, in every sense of the word.  Clint Eastwood has made a masterpiece, the finest of his movies as a director, a film biopic that perfectly captures the man Chris Kyle and his times.  It is not a film for kids due to intense combat scenes and frequent use of the f-bomb by troops.  My review is below and the usual caveat as to spoilers is in force.

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28 Responses to American Sniper: A Review

  • Man I can’t even read this review with a dry eye.

    At times I think that if Jesus was to update the pharisee & tax collector today it would be the [professor/commentator/blogger/many] & the soldier.

    Anyone got a link to Toby Keith’s American soldier? Seems fitting here.

  • . For those Christians horrified at the need to kill women and children if they are carrying bombs, let them peruse Jeremiah 7:18 whose point is that for God, it wasn’t just men that God held responsible for idolatry:
    ” 18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger.”
    Now a sane sniper has no deep wrath for such children ( that’s God’s orbit only) but they must be killed before killing others.
    Tom Cruise’s film “Jack Reacher” has several sinful snipers and an initial scene of one of them framing another while shooting innocents back in the USA in order to really kill one of those victims for financial reasons. There’s two strong moral elements fostered within the investigation by Jack Reacher, a third sharpshooter, as violent character himself but that morality is mixed in with immoral aspects of the same man including a final extrajudicial execution by him which is wrong unless epikeia is applicable…which was possible. “American Sniper” sounds way better.

  • http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-23/im-so-ashamed-meet-drone-operator-who-helped-kill-1626-people-and-walked-away

    http://thepropheticnews.com/tag/american-sniper/

    “sometimes i have to wonder what book modern Christians are reading cause I don’t see any where in the good book where the first century church is cheering on the Roman army and pining for them to invade the known world and put their boot up anyones a**”.

  • Sometimes I have to wonder about modern Christians who spit on those who preserve their right to live in freedom and peace.

  • Donald,
    Like our last three Popes, D. Black seems to have missed Rom.13:4 which perceptive Aquinas saw for both death penalty and war and which is as much Christ’s concept as are His earthly concepts from the mouth…the red letter ones.

    D. Black,
    You come home from work to find your spouse being attacked by a criminal built like a Jets tackle. The criminal is strangling your loved one to death. All you can see for a weapon is a long screw driver but that suffices if you have enough love for your spouse to plunge it through the criminal’s eye and deep into his brain. What is the Christian thing to do? The state deputes to you the right to kill in accordance with its right to kill in Rom.13:4 which God inspired. What are going to do?

  • The Iraq War did not Catholic Just War criteria. JP2 begged Bush not to go through with his decision. No Iraqi had a thing to do with 9/11 and Iraq did not attack the United States and certainly was no threat to our security. The WMD rationale was bogus, and even if they had existed it was no reason to invade the country, cause billions of dollars in damage and deaths of countless Americans and Iraqis. JP2 also told Bush exactly what would happen to the Christians in Iraq that had lived there for 2,000 years. Bush did not care. He boastfully said he went to work “with war on his mind”. If only Bush the Younger had the wisdom of his father, who had the chance to invade Iraq and passed because he knew the problems it would cost for this country and for the people of Iraq. Jesus weeps.

    http://archive.lewrockwell.com/hornberger/hornberger150.html

  • I disagree with you vehemently about the Iraq War d Black, but I am rather bemused by you bringing it up on this thread that had nothing to do with the merits of the Iraq War. Are you so enraged over the Iraq War that you cannot tolerate a movie celebrating an American who served there bravely? Are you so blinded by politics that you cannot respect courage shown by someone who fought for this country in a war you opposed? If that is the case there are many words to describe such an attitude, but Christian is not among them.

  • D Black,
    John Paul II warned the US not to dislodge Hussein from Kuwait in 1991 which Hussein had just invaded.
    John Paul II warned of dire consequences….but Iraqis surrendered in the thousands almost immediately in the desert. Post 1991 JPII was becoming a quasi or sporadic pacifist and in 1995 in Evangelium Vitae, he used the front and back of a death penalty couplet (Gen.9:5-6) to argue against man killing man in sect.39…. while never showing the reader the death penalty part of the couplet he was using. It’s hilarious to those of us who have many passages by rote memory.
    You avoided my question. Try to be truthful this time and not an ideologue. Would you kill a home invader out of love for your spouse? Here’s how nice they are as humans:

    http://youtu.be/dvvHMM6TF50

  • I am sick and tired of liberal progressive Democrat propaganda from the likes of people such as D Black. I will stop. Anything further will get me in trouble. May God bless our heroes like Chris Kyle, and may God bring the murdering Islamic Jihadists and the baby-murdering Democrats to the justice that they so richly merit. God save America!

  • I have to correct myself. D Black referenced a web link to a Lew Rockwell web page. He is libertarian and as isolationist as Ron Paul; he is not a liberal progressive Democrat. But both groups of people generate and disseminate the same anti-war propaganda, and both are wrong.

  • To the mind reader that called me a liberal I have never voted for a Democrat in my 65 years on this earth. I am also a veteran. No one who has served in the Middle East has defended me in any way shape or form. Chickenhawk talking points from cowards that never served but gladly send your sons and now daughters to far away lands to kill others. This whole hero worship of all things military is guilt for the despicable way Vietnam vets were treated before and after Vietnam. “War is a Racket”. – MajGen Smedley Butler, USM.

  • “Chickenhawk talking points from cowards that never served but gladly send your sons and now daughters to far away lands to kill others.”

    I served in the Army during the seventies D. Black. I suggest that you withhold insults from people you know squat about. If you do not think Jihadists are not a threat to you, you are delusional.

  • I was a Nuke Bubblehead, not a Chickenhawk. I will confess to having been cowardly in that I avoided serving in battlefield combat by having served as a reactor operator aboard a US Naval nuclear submarine instead. I preferred the instantaneous death of rapid implosion from torpedo impact to being wounded in the jungle or desert. I am not the hero that Chris Kyle clearly was.

  • PS, I served during the Iranian hostage crisis when that Democrat jerk Carter sat where Obama sits today. When Reagan won the election, all of us on the sub cheered. Reagan made us strong again.

  • D Black,
    Veteran too. Saw more action on the NY harbor streets through living wrong. Thanks for your service. Now I find you incomprehensible but I think you’d kill to protect within your house whatever you say with your lips….so I won’t worry about your loved ones. I sleep with a gun each night because I have a person who said they’d shoot me after losing a street fight to me after I tracked him down over his removing goods from our one city house. Figured he’d come during sleep hours with a pistol. On the street one night, I saw two hooded guys looking at me then at each other and arguing. One obviously wanted to move on me and it could have been him. The other was warning against it.
    One night months later, the motion detector went off. I get totally cool in that situation and waited with the gun for further noises. Must have been a mouse.

  • Excellent review of a great, if flawed movie (I speak of some of the hackneyed dialogue). I’ve never had the experience of exiting a theater to absolute silence as I did with the movie.

  • When I referred to chickenhawk I was specifically referring to the government officials that ran scolded dogs from serving during Vietnam. They are always the quickest to send others to do what they themselves thought they were too good to do. I also believed in the mission in Afghanistan. Iraq was a fools errand.

  • At the time I did not agree with invading Iraq, but I assumed Bush had access to better intelligence info than a mere civilian citizen like me. I was glad when Saddam Hussein – an evil and vicious man – was finally captured. And I believed that most of our service men and women were performing heroically in a land dominated by sickening and depraved Islamic feudalism. Personally, I think our nation should go all nuclear, use nuclear electricity to make liquid hydrocarbon fuel from coal, and tell all the Muslims to go drown in their oil. My only caveat to that is issuing a promise that any attack against Israel would be met with the annihilation of the attacker. But God thankfully has prevented me from ever acquiring power. 😉

  • I’m pretty certain that when Mr. Kyle made it to Heaven, he discovered that all his sins were wiped out at the Cross, and in His Baptism…and that God recognized him as one belonging to Christ and said, “what are you waiting for? Get in here!”

    …or something along those lines

  • “What haunts him (Kyle) are the American troops he was unable to save”.

    My guess is that the men and women who returned home from battles or conflicts had very similar hauntings.
    Replaying the horrific scenes over and over. No wonder self medications are abused as they struggle with the “what if’s”. My late uncle served in Patton’s 3rd Army. He barely was able to cope with the memories.

    God indeed welcomes them home.

  • I don’t know if how to comfort the survivors of war’s horror, but one phrase I heard from a soldier that I wish all those struggling could take to heart:
    “We survived so someone could tell the stories and lessons of war to the next generation.”

  • Philip & Nate, you both make great points. I know of two such men, who both fought in WWII. My grandfather, who never spoke of any bit of the war. He died 20 years ago. And an old family friend, who loves telling war stories & could talk your ear off for days — he’s still living.

  • HEY DRM – I owe you so much for all the wonderful, for me thrilling little snipettes you have given or reminded me and others of regarding our history especially but our lives in general here while being citizens of heaven. i have one for you……
    My theater was packed, and dead silent all thru the final frames of the movie; the regular citizen salute to Chris Kyles funeral is well summed up in an short tribute with pics on the interent entitled ‘ a texas farewell ‘ and i strongly recommend it, but back to the debt i want to repay and ‘ silence’.

    In Charles Bracelen Floods’ tribute to R. E. “Lee The Last years” , Houghton Mifflin Co. @1981- Boston…. Chapters 31 – 34 , especially 33 part II, he tells of Lee and daughter Agnes’ trip thru the deep south [early 1870, months prior to his stroke and death]. Very moving and inciteful. Nearly every line has a poignant, touching recollection of Lee, seeing his dad’s grave in Georgia [ Light Horse Harry Lee] his meeting former officers or being greeted with love and admiration by ordinary people. In Chapter 33, part II flood speaks of the great ferocity and fraternal love of the ‘hurricanes’ the 15,000 or so warriors in the Rebellion from florida. Especially at Cold Harbor. Many turned out families in tow, with the city of Jacksonsville to greet the General on his arrival. Savannas’ welcome had been deafening just a few days before. So many people came on board the boat began to dip – so Lee agreed to come to be seen by the crowds from the upper deck of the steamer early afternoon. Coming to the rail, hat in hand to greet the throngs that had gathered to meet and greet the Old General, Silence came over all. And remained. Rich, pregnant Celestial Deafening silence. The book and those chapters …. it is the only other time for me, in addition to “Bang the drum slowly” and now american sniper, where in the audience was respectful in their deafening silence. I fell silent the first time i saw Peter Grimes live but i digress.
    Thanks for all the history and life lessons… i wish life would allow us to share a few beers and some finger food in conversation, primarily with me listening. Perhaps in the next life. …… paul c

  • Ditto to all your comments, Don. This was a seminal movie for this conflict and this generation of American military personnel, in my view.

    Those opposed to our involvement are blind to the nature of the war we’re in, which is in reality the latest chapter of the 1,500 year war Islam has launched against the West and Christianity. Iraq was merely the latest venue for the contest between Islam and the West.

  • Most of my thoughts are flecked with “hackneyed GI dialogue.” The four-letter-words fly like geese in a gale.
    .
    So, I go to Mark Hemingway for thoughts on the film, and the estimable Mr. Eastwood.
    .

    “The film is primarily about the heroism of soldiers who, thrust into battle by larger forces, do their best to protect each other and innocent Iraqis. Clint Eastwood, often described as one of the few prominent right-wingers in Hollywood, opposed the invasion of Iraq and questioned the invasion of Afghanistan. Even so, the film’s lack of left-wing politics has been treated in some quarters as an unpardonable sin.”
    .

    And, Gary Sinise (Lt. Dan), “[…] Chris Kyle’s story deserved to be told. It tells a story of the stress that multiple deployments have on one military family, a family representative of thousands of military families. It helps to communicate the toll that the war on terror has taken on our defenders. Defenders and families who need our support. […]”
    .

  • “For who is God but the Lord? Or what rock is there but our God? God who has girt me with strength and made my way secure, who has made my feet swift as the feet of deer, and set me on the high places, who has trained my hands for the battle, and my arms for bending the brazen bow. And thou hast given me thy saving shield, and thy great hand has sustained me, and thy care has made me great. Thou hast made the way wide for my footsteps, nor have my feet staggered. I pursued my enemies and I overtook them, nor did I turn back until I had slain them.” Mine was a brief, honorable but inglorious military career, and a proof that we are not tempted beyond our strength.
    Mr. Kyle, thy name is David.

  • Most of Clint Eastwood’s directed movies are amazing. I was disappointed with Million Dollar Baby because of its pro-euthanasia message, and recall feeling shocked by the conclusion, to what I thought was a great story. Looking forward to seeing American Sniper.

Chris Kyle and Alvin C. York

Wednesday, January 21, AD 2015

 

 

“I am a strong Christian. Not a perfect one—not close. But I strongly believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible. When I die, God is going to hold me accountable for everything I’ve done on earth. He may hold me back until last and run everybody else through the line, because it will take so long to go over all my sins. “Mr. Kyle, let’s go into the backroom. . . .” Honestly, I don’t know what will really happen on Judgment Day. But what I lean toward is that you know all of your sins, and God knows them all, and shame comes over you at the reality that He knows. I believe the fact that I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior will be my salvation. But in that backroom or whatever it is when God confronts me with my sins, I do not believe any of the kills I had during the war will be among them. Everyone I shot was evil. I had good cause on every shot. They all deserved to die.”
Chis Kyle

 

 

I hadn’t planned on seeing American Sniper, the story of the late Chris Kyle, but with it shattering box office records and driving the Left insane, something that director Clint Eastwood has been doing effortlessly for the past four decades, I will have to go see it this weekend and review it for TAC.  Awarded two Silver Stars and numerous other decorations, Navy Seal Kyle always stated that his motivation for being perhaps the deadliest sniper in American history was to protect his fellow troops.  This resonated with me since it was the same motivation for Corporal Alvin C. York in 1918 during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive to take out several German machine gun nests and to capture 132 German soldiers:

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7 Responses to Chris Kyle and Alvin C. York

  • From a Wall Street Journal letter to the editor some years past: “Where do we find these young men? They grow here, somehow unchanged by the skeptics and cynics all around them. In an instant they make decisions of such gravity that all else seems irrelevant and minimized. How do we deserve these young men? We support them. We honor them. We remember their sacrifice. We win this war.”
    Jim Gribbel
    Freeport, Maine

    .
    Medal of Honor Citation, YORK, ALVIN C.
    “Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company G, 328th Infantry, 82d Division. […] After his platoon had suffered heavy casualties and 3 other noncommissioned officers had become casualties, Cpl. York assumed command. Fearlessly leading 7 men, he charged with great daring a machinegun nest which was pouring deadly and incessant fire upon his platoon. In this heroic feat the machine gun nest was taken, together with 4 officers and 128 men and several guns.”

    Laurence Stallings’ book, The Doughboys, contains a detailed description of the action. It’s many years. As I remember, at one point Cpl. York’s M1911 .45 cal. was out of ammunition so he dangled the pistol on his little finger, and “touched off” Huns with a M1903 .30 cal. Springfield rifle.

  • The “National Review Online” link you provided is unreal. The left would feel better if the lovely child murdering Islamist we’re in our streets screaming Allah is God and beheading your neighbor. The pathetic reviews from the left assure me that our national security is undermined and will be so as long as the democrats continue it’s practice of sniffing glue and telling you how to embrace multiculturalism in the face of terrorism. ( rant ends. )

    I love our country and the brave young men and women who keep at bay the filthy pigs that wish to kill us. I abhor the left. Never forget 9-11, USS Cole and the 17 in Paris. When the heads start to roll down 5th Ave. in NY city, then these tasteless reviews from traitors might cease.

  • ….then they will pray for good American snipers! Ok. Rant is finally over.

  • Saw it… wonderful movie about a genuine hero. Long overdue positive portrayal of an American fighting man with no moral ambiguity about his duty.

    Highly recommended, not just because it drives the Left nuts to see the military portrayed in a positive manner (though that made it even sweeter).

    What’s been said is true, at the end of the movie, there was total silence in the crowded theater, a silence of reverence for the life of this American hero.

  • Those who sent the child to do a man’s job are the most responsible for the child’s death. The child is truly collateral damage. He would have died from the explosives he was delivering. This frequently happened in Viet Nam, where a child, usually a girl, was wired with explosives and sent into the G.I. camps. The soldiers embraced her and died and she with them. Nice people, Huh?

  • Stop hero worshipping this bloodthirsty psychopath! Gosh I can’t stand living in this country!

  • Don’t let the door hit you on your way out of America JJ.

New Blog, Ron Paul & Other Things

Tuesday, February 5, AD 2013

Hello TAC. I haven’t been posting here as often as I once was since a) I wanted to get a new blog up and running and b) I am also going to be writing for Catholic Stand, and my first piece is appearing tomorrow.

My new blog is called “Liberty & Dignity.” It is not an explicitly Catholic blog, but it is devoted to a natural law/rights version of libertarianism called “paleo-libertarianism.” I distinguish paleo-libertarianism from other kinds of libertarianism in the following way: the paleo brand explicitly recognizes that liberty is a historical and cultural product as much as it is an abstract ideal, that it requires certain institutional prerequisites and supports, and that taken out of its proper context – like anything else – it can self-destruct. It is close to but not identical with paleo-conservatism.

My first article for Catholic Stand will explain how I believe all of this as a Catholic.

Now, onto the Ron Paul business. Obviously I don’t agree with many of the comments left on Paul Zummo’s post about Ron Paul being an inherently malicious person. At the same time, I found his comments to be wildly inappropriate and politically destructive, much like Todd Akin’s rape comments. His subsequent statements on his Facebook page really didn’t improve the situation either.

I am not too happy with his son either, for much different reasons, but you can read my blog to learn more about that.

Here at TAC and Catholic Stand I am going to continue focusing on the two issues that pose the greatest threat to religious liberty in our time: the HHS mandate and the “marriage equality” movement. I expect it will also be necessary to continue defending free markets and private property as our social democratic government continues its assault on both. Many Catholics still believe that they have a religious obligation to support a welfare state and open borders. These beliefs are toxic even if well-intended.

Well, that’s all for now. Let the comments roll.

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38 Responses to New Blog, Ron Paul & Other Things

  • I preface my comment by noting that I am not an American (although I do live in the United States). That may matter, as I may lack some of the context that another might consider a prerequisite to having an opinion on this matter.

    I am one of those who does admire Ron Paul. In theory, I need not endorse everything a candidate does in order to admire him or her for it is the character of a person, to me, that is more important than the specific views he or she holds (although I don’t want to belittle the relation between the two). Persons may disagree, but I believe Ron Paul is a person of decency and courage.

    Having said this, it is hard not to join those citing the inappropriateness of his reaction. Integrity is not itself evidenced in having consistency, which people often credit to the former Congressman, but rather in having the courage, I think, to reverse oneself when brought before a wrong committed.

    I, for one, will be interested to see how this story develops.

    KW.

  • Ron Paul was too clever by half. Being one of the few politicians left whose thinking is marked by logical clarity instead of bathos or chicanery, it is obvous that he thought he was making a brilliant point, by pointing out the analogy between the proverbial person, armed with a hammer who thinks that every problem is nail, and a soldier who thinks that every difficulty can be handled after a day of letting loose in the range. He was of course insensitive to the dead, but Twitter is a format that positively thrives on stupid thoughts and should therefore be avoided by everyone but twits.

  • Ron Paul’s latest outburst reaffirms what I have always believed about him: that he is a heartless, cruel, and mean spirited nut job, For you to liken his using the tragic murder of an American hero as a pretext to launch another crazy tirade to Todd Akin’s remarks, which were poorly stated at worst, is reprehensible, but not surprising.

  • Reprehensible?

    I find your use of the word reprehensible to be reprehensible, not to mention idiotic – but that isn’t surprising either.

    Todd Akin’s remarks were politically stupid. So were Ron Paul’s. Both were attempting to make a semi-valid point and failed miserably. The comments have that much in common. If you are so over-emotionally hysterical and sensitive that you can’t see that, well, you have my pity. I hope you find the help you need to deal with that.

  • I hope you find the help you need to deal with that.

    Take a chill pill, Bonchamps.

  • Ron Paul’s comments were merely politically stupid? You do a much better job making my case than I ever could.

  • Paleo-libertarian? As if we needed another flavor of libertarian? Good luck with that.

  • Ron Paul has a history of saying stupid things. Akin?

  • Ok.

    Paul Z: I’ll “chill out” (by which I presume you mean, act sufficiently docile) when I’m dead. Until then, I’ll stay warm.

    Greg: I never said the word “merely.” You dishonestly put that word in my mouth. This is a pattern with you. You should work on that.

    JL: lol

    J. Christian: Paleo-libertarianism already existed. It wasn’t widely known, and still isn’t. Maybe I can do something about that. One popular paleo-libertarian is Ilana Mercer:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilana_Mercer

    I’d argue that Ron Paul is more or less a paleo-libertarian, though he doesn’t use that label.

    Kyle: Sure, if you oppose his politics, I’m sure most things he says sound “stupid” to you. This comment, however, sounded stupid even to many of us who don’t typically and reflexively think the things he says are stupid.

    And yes… um… Akin. It was stupid on that level. It alienated potential supporters.

    Is it so hard to understand how these comments have similar consequences? Is this really a difficult concept?

  • Bonchamps:

    I didn’t quote you when I used the word “merely”. It was a characterization (and I think an accurate one) of your description of Ron Paul’s remarks. I thought the absence of quotation marks in conjunction with the context of your remarks made that sufficiently clear. But apparently not. In any event, no dishonesty on my part.

  • No dishonesty?

    You are imputing dishonorable motivations to me without sufficient evidence.

    Your characterization isn’t accurate.

    If you weren’t being dishonest, you were being thoughtless. I won’t hold my breath waiting for a retraction.

  • I mean, its not enough that I think the comments were ill-considered and insensitive. No. I have to hate Ron Paul as much as you do, or I am as hateful and demented as you wrongly assume Ron Paul to be.

    I think I’ll turn down the invitation to the warped and unjust reality you inhabit.

  • Bonchamps:

    Was Ron Paul’s statement regarding Chris Kyle’s murder worse than Todd Akin’s remarks or weren’t they?

  • What do you mean by “worse”, and why does it even matter? Why are you determined to quantify this?

    I’m not bringing them up to compare their content, but rather their effects. The effects are similar. I don’t know if they are quantitatively identical. I don’t think such a thing is even measurable. In both cases you have a political movement that will suffer to some unknowable but definite degree because of one man’s thoughtless remarks. That’s the point. Why in the heck you would attribute bad motives to me for making this point is beyond me. It strikes me as demented.

    You want to know what I think about the content? I think it was an extremely callous way to make a point, and I don’t even agree with the point he was making. I don’t believe Kyle “lived by the sword” like some kind of mercenary, the quotation was inapplicable. Was this “worse” than what Akin said? Objectively, maybe. Subjectively, I don’t think either man intended to harm or offend anyone. Both remarks were thoughtless.

    I’m not wound up about the content. And it doesn’t have a single thing to do with Ron Paul’s views nor does it tarnish the valuable service that he himself has provided this country. It was one stupid comment. To defend the comment or to savagely and eternally condemn the man who made it are equally stupid and risible extremes.

  • In an objective comparison, there is no maybe about the fact that Dr Paul’s callous remark (to use your own word) is far worse than Akin’s. Akin’s comments, while clumsily stated and partially correct in terms of the facts, were not callous. The idea that you are more concerned about the political effect than the content is disturbing. This has everything to do with what he thinks. This not just one stupid comment. This is the same Ron Paul who not only equated our going into Pakistan to kill bin Laden without notifying them to China killing a Chinese dissident on our soil. He also equated our invasion
    of Iraq with China invading us in the 2008 GOP debate. To say this has nothing to with his views is utter nonsense.

    Oh, I do not hate Ron Paul nor have I ever urged you to do so either. I stand by my characterization of him in my first comment on this thread. But I don’t hate him. I dislike him but I don’t hate him.

  • I’ll “chill out” (by which I presume you mean, act sufficiently docile)

    I mean not imputing mental illness to people who disagree with you.

  • Ron Paul was too clever by half. Being one of the few politicians left whose thinking is marked by logical clarity instead of bathos or chicanery, it is obvous that he thought he was making a brilliant point, by pointing out the analogy between the proverbial person, armed with a hammer who thinks that every problem is nail, and a soldier who thinks that every difficulty can be handled after a day of letting loose in the range. He was of course insensitive to the dead, but Twitter is a format that positively thrives on stupid thoughts and should therefore be avoided by everyone but twits.

    Educate me, Ivan. What indication is there that the deceased thought “every difficulty can be handled after a day of letting loose on the range”? How does Dr. Paul, who has a 35 year history of promoting crank monetary schemes and fancies that the dispositions and behavior of the government of Iran is perfectly reasonable because we pass (contextually modest, one might note) subsidies to Israel manifest ‘logical clarity’? Are you saying the logically clear Dr. Paul is a twit because he makes use of twitter?

  • Ron Paul’s latest outburst reaffirms what I have always believed about him: that he is a heartless, cruel, and mean spirited nut job

    How about “silly crank so consumed with his hobby horses that his assessment of just about everything is hopelessly reductionist”?

  • Paul Z,

    Are your blinders so thick that you really believe that Greg was merely “disagreeing” with me in some sort of gentleman’s dispute?

    I love disagreement. I crave it. I hunger for it.

    What I don’t love or tolerate is people questioning my motives and calling me “reprehensible” for not making the exact point they would have made or would like to see made and for assuming I wouldn’t make it. That IS demented.

  • Greg,

    You are way more invested in this than I am. I don’t crucify people over irresponsible public remarks. I look at their entire record. Even if you add in a few other questionable Ron Paul statements, there are still thousands of statements that are right on the money as far as I am concerned.

    And I happen to agree with some of those other comments. I DO believe that the government’s (not “our” – I had nothing to do with it) invasion of Iraq was an aggressive, immoral and possibly criminal enterprise. The only error in comparing it to China is that China hasn’t launched an aggressive invasion of another country, unless you count the thrashing it gave Vietnam in 1979 (and that was only in response to Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia, which at least happened on China’s borders and therefore posed a plausible national security threat).

  • What I don’t love or tolerate is people questioning my motives and calling me “reprehensible” for not making the exact point they would have made or would like to see made and for assuming I wouldn’t make it. That IS demented.

    It’s not demented. It’s a different tack than perhaps I would have taken, but it was an opinion.

    Look, I respect your opinions and I’m glad that you haven’t attempted to defend the indefensible. But you need to stop treating every comment criticizing you as a personal attack. So I repeat, chill.

  • I love disagreement. I crave it. I hunger for it.

    Is that why you stuck me on moderation?

    I DO believe that the government’s (not “our” – I had nothing to do with it) invasion of Iraq was an aggressive, immoral and possibly criminal enterprise. The only error in comparing it to China is that China hasn’t launched an aggressive invasion of another country, unless you count the thrashing it gave Vietnam in 1979 (and that was only in response to Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia, which at least happened on China’s borders and therefore posed a plausible national security threat).

    I think China sending hundreds of thousands of troops across the Yalu River in 1951 constitutes something in the category ‘aggressive’.

    As for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, it is non-sequitur to refer to ‘criminal’ enterprises where there is no penal code. That aside, the President faced real decisions in a context of uncertainty of both situation and outcome. You can remove the sanctions (and allow Iraq to rebuild its WMD capacity), you can leave the sanctions on (which Big Consciences assured us were causing hundreds of thousands of excess deaths a year), or you can eject the government. Not too many pleasant options.

  • Paul,

    When someone says that something I did was “reprehensible”, I take it as a personal attack. I guess that’s just nuts.

  • As for this,

    “Is that why you stuck me on moderation?”

    You don’t want me to list the reasons why I stuck you on moderation.

  • Bonchamps:

    Once again you do exactly what you accusse me of doing. i never ever called you reprehensible. I called you likening Ron Paul’s despicable attack on the late Chris Kyle (and yes he was attacking Kyle not just the war fought in) with Todd Akin’s innocuouos by camparison remarks reprehensible. And it is. Sorry you don’t like it. But I guess ther truth hurts.

  • Oh, and by the way, I also find the fact the fact that you don’t seem to be too disturbed by Ron Paul’s remarks reprehensible. Here is a man you think highly of making a statement that is basically a verbal spit on the grave of a man who put his life on the line for this country, has not retracted such remarks. And it doesn’t disturb you? What else do you call that?

  • I call it a personal attack.

    I really couldn’t care less what you think of me or anything else. I just object to Paul Z’s strange idea that what you are doing isn’t a personal attack.

    I told you what I thought of Ron Paul’s comments. If that isn’t good enough, fine. I’ll be “reprehensible” in your eyes. See if I lose any sleep over it.

  • Oh, and…

    ” i never ever called you reprehensible. ”

    I never said you called me reprehensible. Well, at least not before. I said:

    “When someone says that something I did was “reprehensible”, I take it as a personal attack.”

    For the record, I see it as a distinction without a difference.

  • Ok, I srand corrected. But yes what you did in downplaying Ron Paul’s remarks with the Akin comparison is reprehensible!!

  • I shall probably regret this comment, nevertheless…

    First, most TAC contributors (not all) use their real names, thereby taking personal responsibility and accountability for what they write (whether here at TAC or over at the Catholic Stand or on their own personal blogs), and a fair number of commenters do as well. In fact, even in the case of those who may use pseudonyms, it is easy to find out who they really are. They have no need to keep their identities secret, except in this case. (NOTE: Because I don’t wish to debate an undebatable person, I am maintaining my anonymity in the same way as the author of this blog post maintains his – fair is fair.)

    Second, the type of personal animosity given against detractors in the com box for his own post by a TAC contributor is rare, and it denigrates the reputation of TAC as a blog with a higher standard or quality than that. Perhaps one does not crave debate or disagreement as one claims, except when one can demonstrate one’s victory against those whose manipulation of logic is not nearly as adept or deft as one’s own, thereby raising into public acclaim one’s own intellectual brilliance.

    Third, there are those who under the banner of libertarianism act as though they can reject authority, particularly when that authority does not agree with their preconceived notions to which they hold an almost infantile fist-grasp. They almost seem to feel as though their intellectual brilliance in one or two areas, or their ability to trip others up in logic-debates automatically carries over into other areas, entitling and authorizing them to determine what sources of knowledge are valid in fields where they have never worked nor possess any expertise, and to force that determination on others through ridicule and personal accusation.

    Fourth, I won’t respond to debating this comment. I know where the conversation will go. Personal liberty means accountability, responsibility and respect for authority. Frankly, I am disgusted with the arrogance and disdain for others that is so typical of many (not all) hard-core libertarians I meet.

  • Well, that’s quite an indictment, isn’t it? We could have had this discussion in private, but if you want to air it all out here, that’s fine with me. I know exactly who you are by your email address, by the way, a regular and frequent poster whom everyone will know when we get to the one and only topic you know anything about.

    First, I don’t use a pseudonym because I want to hide my real name from people like you. It is for professional reasons. You want to know my identity, I’ll be happy to tell you who I am and where I live, and where I go for walks, and where you can find me if you want to say things like this to my face.

    Secondly, TAC is free to give me the boot any time. I’m not going to retract my policy of reacting to personal, petty, childish nonsense directed against me in exactly the way it deserves to be reacted to. Perhaps “one” doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about when making assumptions about the personal motivations of “another.”

    Third, I know exactly who you are. I never made any claim to expertise about nuclear power. I mentioned something about nuclear reactors and something about depleted uranium once or twice in passing, providing links to people who ARE experts to support my brief comments – something every blogger does. This caused you to flip out and write a com-box treatise to cover-up your own intellectual insecurities, practically the equivalent of waving your arms and shouting “look at me, look at me, I know things too! I know things too!” You take every opportunity you can get to bring your professional knowledge of nuclear energy into a conversation, even when it has nothing to do with the conversation for the same pathetic reasons. You practically invented out of thin air – “lied” is usually the applicable word though I’m not sure when it is clearly the product of some kind of deep mental distress – the claim that Ron Paul has a problem with nuclear energy when the man has never said a word against it, or if he has, you certainly didn’t provide it. For what? So you could bring the only topic you have a passing knowledge of into a discussion?

    You admitted to me countless times that you don’t know much about political philosophy, that you admired what I had to say on several topics. Were you lying then too? Now I’m “infantile”? Moreover, you count your professional experience in the field of nuclear energy as the reason why you know so much about it. I teach political science for a living. And I DON’T go into “other areas.” I DO link to the claims of experts in their fields. Or are you the highest authority? I wasn’t aware everyone at Fukushima and everyone who studies DU reports directly to you. I’m so glad I know that now.

    Fourth, I’m not disgusted, but rather amused that you took the time to write all this.

  • Is it wrong that I feel sufficiently entertained by all of this?

  • Not at all. I’m entertained by it myself. It’s so absurd and ridiculous that it can only be entertaining.

  • Third, I know exactly who you are.

  • Well, I’m glad to see you branching out Art. For a while I thought the only movie you’d ever seen was Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

    Still, the only thing funny about your post is that you think it’s funny, when it is as bizarrely out of place as your Spicoli references.

  • I’m taking an editorial prerogative and closing this thread.