Links…

Justin’s very persuasive (and poetic) argument for allowing cruising on Billings streets. Any cops or business owners out there care to rebut?

Rebels Are We! catches Testermania. Coming to a community near you!

Last night’s appearance by initiative front-man Travis Butcheron Yellowstone Public Radio has hit the ‘Net. Give it a listen. I would love it if someone made a transcript…

Jeff M on how Montana’s college system scores on affordability.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Burns to help out. Apparently he doesn’t give a d*mn.

Part 3 of New West’s series on Oregon’s regulatory-takings initiative.

Notorious Mark T on Iraq War. He claims that both Dems and Repubs believe in the unjust war, but offers no solution on how to extract ourselves from it. Pony up, Mark T!

Idaho’s Bill Sali shows us just what an idiot he is and why the state’s 1st District is in play.

The entire Democratic Senate leadership sends a little note to Disney – threatening to destroy them when they get into power. Now this is what I’m talking about!

Hm. Here’s an interesting reason why the 9/11 Commission chair isn’t speaking out against the gross inaccuracies of ABC’s “documentary.”

Speaking of 9/11, both Bush and Guliani knew that the air quality in Lower Manhattan was toxic when they reopened it. You think that’s in the ABC special?

Is it Constitutional to deny lawyers fees for challenging church-state infringements? House Republicans think so. But then their track record on the Constitution is less than stellar.

Conservatives begin the fear-mongering. Buckle up, Americans. Don’t let them scare you into approving of their incompetence and corruption.

By the way, the fear-mongering appears to be working. Only thing is, Americans blame the Iraq War for their unease. So…does that mean the GOP’s fear-mongering campaign will actually backfire?

Fred Phelps proves Jonathan Swift’s words: “”When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.”

I guess HP jumped the gun on privatizing government activities

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  1. “Notorious” Mark says that you have to leave the mindset that says “We’re rational, they’re not.” There’s plenty of irrationality to go around, so let’s take our share. We put 150,000 troops in there with tanks and guns and jets and said “We’re doing you a favor.” Funny they don’t see us as liberators.

    Iraqis are mostly rational, like us. Left to their own devices, they’ll work it out, set up a government, quell the insurgents. I’m not sure that’s what we want, as any government Iraqis set up will likely be Shiite and aligned with Iran. Do we really want democracy over there? I think not.

    I think what is missing from your analysis and all others is this: A large part of the inurgency is driven by the presence of an occupying force. Once that force is gone, the insurgency subsides. So I gave you the answer over at Piece of Mind. I said that answer is “boats and planes.” That’s how you withdraw troops.

    But, as a thought experiment, think the unthinkable. What if we’re not there to help them, but rather to control their resources and inject our military power into the region (including 14 new military bases)? Then all bets are off, and we’re not going anywhere anytime, ever. And this is where I believe that Dems and Repubs are in agreement, why the Dems will appear wimpy in not challenging Bush on Iraq – neither is being up front with us about true objectives.

    So the answer is to simply withdraw, and it won’t happen because we’re not there for them. We’re there for us.

  2. Unfortunately I didn’t have much time to respond to this earlier…

    Your expectation of what would happen if the US would simply withdraw seems…simplistic. I might agree that violence against and surrounding US troops and their Iraqi allies would cease, but that wouldn’t account for sectarian violence. And you’re completely forgetting about the Turks and Iranians, who would no doubt invade northern Iraq as soon as US troops leave. If you are at all familiar with Turky’s history with its Kurdish population, you’ll know it ain’t pretty.

    So…how would you account for all this?

    I’ve written before, mainly in comments, that the best way to leave Iraq is have US presence replaced with an international force, US economic support for Iraq instead of paying US subcontractors to do subpar work. Etc & co.

  3. My arguement wasn’t nearly so much about whether or not cruising should be legal, as it was about the hipocrisy of a city making money off of something that they’d outlawed. The city of Billings outlawed fireworks too, would everyone line up and applaud if the city set up fireworks stands all over town? I think not. The post was just another demonstration of the fact that Billings Montana is run by self serving shysters and blatant hipocrits who feel no moral conflict whatsoever about making something illegal one day, then profiting from it the next.

    I’m sure lots of cops and business owners could tell all kinds of horror stories, and I don’t particularly care. Bad things happen at baseball games from time to time too, but should we outlaw baseball? Should we hold all baseball fans responsible because a few bad apples get out of hand?

    The same applies for any activity, when people gather in large groups there’s bound to be a few bad ones in the mix. As I remember from those days, the more that cops and business owners hassled the kids, the more problems that started to happen. What do you suppose would have happened if just one business owner on 24th Street had put up a sign saying that cruisers were welcome and started selling consessions? I would be willing to bet that his business would have received protection far superior to any provided by the Billings Police Department.

    It’s like the one old busybody on every street with nothing better to do than hassle every kid on the block. Who’s house gets egged every Halloween? Then there’s the cool old guy that treats the kids with a little respect and earns theirs in return. Does anyone ever vandalize his property? If the business owners along 24th hadn’t responded to their potential boom in popularity with fear and loathing, I think they would have found their results to be far more positive. I’d rather be the cool guy than the busybody.

  4. The question is not what we as individuals are for or against. I happen to think Iraq will be no worse off if we simply get up and leave. They are as capable of managing their affairs as us, probably more so. (Turkey, like Israel, does exactly as they US tells them to do, at the price of losing military aid.)

    The question is, what do our leaders think – not just the Republicans, but also the faux-opposition party. And my overreaching point is this – they intend to stay there to satisfy objectives that they’ve never publicly enunciated. They meant to conquer that place and take control of its resources and install military bases, they have done so, and will not back down. Not now, not in 2008, not until we are so bloodied that we have no choice but to withdraw, as in Vietnam.

  1. 1 A Veteran’s Call to Conscience « Piece Of Mind

    […]  Update: Jay over at $&20 linked to this with a kind of high and mighty “Pony Up!” like getting out to Iraq is too complicated to comprehend. It’s not comlicated at all, so I urge we not leave it to the finest minds of the Democratic Party, who in the end usually go along with Republicans. […]




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