Responding to James McPherson, Progressive Ph.D.

A little re-post to help Comrade Jimmy, the “Progressive” Professor, get over his selective memory syndrome.

From back in June…

Posted at James McPherson’s site in the comments as a response to his post here.

Mr. McPherson: You have every right to your opinion and believe it or not, I appreciate and understand your position: you hate war. I get it. However, your argument that a thing cannot be understood or executed by people who have not directly experienced it or that there are people who pushed for war for personal reasons or gains in Iraq and Afghanistan simply cannot be supported.

I would wager that your first proposition would eliminate you from speaking about, supporting or opposing any number of issues because you have not personally experienced them.

I think the better question is this: Is war necessary?

This is why, in spite of your doctorate, I find your line of thought childish and naive. One thing is necessary in a world governed by laws and that is the same degree of respect of the law from all parties involved in a conflict – when one does not, force becomes the method of correcting that situation. America goes to great lengths to assure that we have used every tool available before getting to that point and in the cases of Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan, we pursued every avenue for decades before resorting to defending our people and our interests.

This is in stark contrast to Obama’s unilateral “kinetic military action” in Libya.

America doesn’t seek war, it gets brought to us. We are not imperialists, we do not keep what we kill.

What I also find repugnant about your position is your easy and capricious indictment of Republicans and conservatives as the “chicken hawks”. The true chicken hawks are the weak willed and spineless civilian and elected leadership, most of who are Democrats, and who vote for actions in public and then proceed to 1) work against them behinds the scenes or 2) openly lose their nerve when things get difficult. These are your so called “chicken hawks”, the men and women who vote to do something and then say “well, I didn’t know you really meant it.” If you will look at the vote tallies for the three conflicts that I spoke of you will find that we actually did have votes and authorizations in Congress and then you can see that the true cowards are people like Reid, Pelosi, Dick Durban, Kerry, the late John Murtha, etc – Democrat liberals, all.

They supported actions that were clearly going to lead to armed conflict and then bailed on supporting aggressive prosecution of the mission when it was politically advantageous. Just like in Veitnam with the Tet Offensive, these political opportunists have turned victory into something else and thereby guaranteed that the conflicts will be far more prolonged and painful than necessary, to borrow your phrase, effectively “spitting on the military”.

Feel free to read about this in a post here, of which this is the denouement:

“I abhor the very savagery that I propose but we simply can’t be stuck in the middle here. War does not favor the moderate. I do not want another soldier to die when we have the power to prevent it so in the event we decide to go to war, we owe our troops the political will to commit enough destruction so that both our enemies and the societies that they live among know that they are defeated. They need to know exactly what price they will pay if they decide to continue. It is distasteful, it is harsh and it is inhuman but to do less creates a prolonged, protracted event that never will be resolved to an endpoint.

I’m sorry but I say piss on them…and those on our “side” who would condemn our Marines.

Semper Fi, Marines…”

As far as “unfortunately sometimes relies on Fox News-style sexism” to draw hits, out of 1641 posts to date, generating a little over 1.1 million hits, there are a total of 96 “Rule 5’s” – about 6% of the total posts. We’re hardly the porn site that you make us out to be.

As I stated, you have every right to your opinion and your work will be gladly posted at our site – but you also have the right to be wrong, which, in my opinion, you are on this subject.

One more little thing:

Just in case you are curious, the vote tallies for “Bush’s War” were as follows:

October 2002 – HJRes 114, the “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 passed the House 296 to 133 and the Senate 77 to 23. Who voted and how is here.

The vote on the Authorization For Use Of Military Force in Afghanistan was 420 to 1 in the House and 98 to 0 in the Senate. Find that here.

All of this was after 9/11 and the Iraq vote was after 16 toothless UN resolutions over 22 years finally led to Resolution 1441(unanimously passed by the UN Security Council). 1441 was the international legal basis for the war…but the assumption with “progressives” was that nobody would ever actually enforce it – until President Bush led a coalition that actually did.

There was also a time when Democrats thought Afghanistan was a “good war”: here and here – at least until they saw it as a wedge against Bush and Republicans. It is hard to argue that they weren’t all in and then changed like the kid who killed his parents and then claimed leniency because he was an orphan.

Mr. McPherson, Ph.D., if you want to make a valid argument, you should focus on your own “progressive” thinkers, they are the ones that are getting our soldiers killed.

I would also like to note that at Mr. McPherson’s site, comments are held for approval, they are “awaiting moderation”. Comments at TRNL are open and not moderated. We specifically chose to go without moderation to avoid any restriction of speech. Perhaps that says something about a difference in approach between TRNL and Mr. McPherson, Ph.D., perhaps not – you be the judge.

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36 thoughts on “Responding to James McPherson, Progressive Ph.D.

    • Must be because my comments are still sitting with “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” tag to them – as of about 5 minutes ago.

    • Or perhaps he is more attuned to sympathetic voices…or he just hasn’t gotten to his comment queue yet – it happens. I’m not ready to assign nefarious motives to it just yet.

      And then it could be the double D’s.

      • Or perhaps he is more attuned to sympathetic voices…or he just hasn’t gotten to his comment queue yet – it happens. I’m not ready to assign nefarious motives to it just yet.

        I am. I was after his first week here. But, to be fair to SBJ, I have had the dubious experience of having gone head-to-head with many of his kind. I’m also proud to say I NEVER lost — not once. I even bested the Dean of the Philosophy Department in open debate (he admitted defeat — on his own fav philosopher and subject of his doctoral thesis, John Stuart Mill :-D ) Compared to my old Dean and his mensa-certified child prodigy, SBJ is a light-weight push-over (he just doesn’t realize it ;-) )

  1. In my comment, I asked if he censored. So you may call me sympathetic, but I don’t think that was the case. I feel that I was direct. I went to the article in your link above. Were you speaking on the older one in your other post?

  2. As one who has worn the uniform and still bears the scars of service to this nation in time of war, I’ll say this for Dr. M: he’s the coward!

    Yes, I mean coward: coward because he refuses to acknowledge who it is that has traditionally gotten this nation into wars. I’ll tell you, lest he come play more word games in his deliberate attempts at deception.

    LEFTISTS!

    WW I – Woodrow Wilson – and intentionally so

    WW II – FDR – and intentionally so

    Korea – a “police action” brought on by treaty obligation to a LEFTIST organization – the U.N.

    Viet Nam – JFK, then LBJ – and in the case of LBJ – intentionally so

    Desert Storm – Mr. “New World Order” – a PROGRESSIVE/LEFTIST term, therefore making him a PROGRESSIVE/LEFTIST RINO

    Afghanistan/Iraq – Ditto the son

    ALL the many wars afterward – OBAMA – PROGRESSIVE!!!

    So you see, it is NOT “D’s” and “R’s” – it is Statist vs Classic Liberal thinking and Dr. M is W-R-O-N-G-!

    (BTW: keep going back and you’ll find most of our wars were started by Progressives or people with Statist mentalities – this includes Lincoln. We haven’t had a ‘good war’ since the original founders were in office. I include WW II in this because, if you know history, yu understand FDR pushed the Japanese into the attack on Pearl Harbor, he just thought it would come in the Philippines).

    • Blacky, as someone who professes to be knowledgeable about fallacies, surely you’re aware of the fallacies of generalization and of composition. And we know you like to throw around the “ad hominem” term nearly as often as you throw around ad hominems. In this case, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I can’t say I’m surprised.

      “Yes, I mean coward: coward because he refuses to acknowledge who it is that has traditionally gotten this nation into wars. I’ll tell you, lest he come play more word games in his deliberate attempts at deception.”

      That’s simply a lie — or at least misinformed. Though I don’t buy your argument that Bush is a leftist–he and Obama both are closer to neocon right-wingers–I do point out in classes that Democrats have started more and longer wars than Republicans, that Republicans (especially Nixon) have done more for the enviroment than Democrats, that Republican presidents have favored more gun control than Democrats, and that with the exception of Carter the U.S. economy has almost always been stronger by most traditional measures under Democratic presidents than it has under Republican ones.

      If you want to go with your silly “statist” argument, though, then virtually EVERY president since some of the founders has been one of those. So “statists” have been in charge of almost everything good or bad in American history.

      • I named specific wars linked to the specific leaders and their ideologies. NOT ad hominem or generalization.

        You, on the other hand, have shown ZERO command of logic. So, please,…

        • “he’s the coward”

          “I asked him how he can so easily dismiss the OBVIOUS media bias where ‘journalists’ call Alinsky their hero”

          “NOT ad hominem or generalization.”

          By the way, I’d never heard of Alinsky until long after I was a journalist. And yes, I could have been more precise with my comment, which was intended to capture how you operate in general not just your response on this specific posts (that’s why I included the second quote above, one of many in which you’ve overgeneralized about journalists or progressives). Sorry I didn’t make it easier to follow.

          • Don’t: don’t thank me. If you understand service, you should know it is our honor to serve. If you don’t, then it’s just another one of those empty slogans we say that direct our emotions by emptying our minds.

            • Sorry you feel that way, though your apparent bitterness puzzles me. I’m honored to have the opportunity to teach, but I still appreciate it when people thank me for it, and I’ve heard friends who are (or who have been) in the military say they appreciate the occasional “thank you,” too. Still, if you think your reaction reflects the majority, I’ll rethink my practices of thanking folks in uniform, leaving money at airport Starbucks’ with the instruction to “use that to pay for the coffee of the next person in a military uniform,” etc.

              And you may remember that a previous post of mine — which Kells reprinted here — was mostly about military service, including the line, “We pretend to honor those who serve in the military, but mostly we ignore them – or even go so far as punishing those with the guts to actually serve.” I am truly sorry if my comment offends you. That doesn’t mean I’ll go easy on you in other areas, of course. :-)

              • “Sorry you feel that way, though your apparent bitterness puzzles me”

                It shouldn’t … especially a man of your obvious ‘caliber’. But in the interest of teaching, let’s run a little experiment, shall we?

                Black – hey bro. Thanks for your service my brother in arms.

                Bet you $10 dollars as to why I will get a different response. I’ll also bet you another $10 dollars as to your offering up more rhetorical commentary about my little experiment too. Something along the lines of “Yeah, I would expect you and Black to band together.” no doubt, but in fact, you will once again, as you do so utterly often, miss the point.

                The problem is a lack of respect … bilaterally. The common thread that Black and I share has little to do with ideology, but more so with the fact that not only have we both served, but that we both as members who served, gauge folks for words alien to you such as honor.

                Only rarely have you ever came here with honor. You plate, and serve up a banquet of dishonesty, and platitudes. You castigate anyone who differs from you oftentimes using fancy words such as “fallacy”, “hyperbole”, and “hypocritical”, and then adjust your precious little liberal halo as if you would walk on water next. Sure, we use those same words, but we do not hide our shortcomings. As the subtitle of this blog site plainly states, we are dishonest, diversionary, and pompous. Unlike you, we are proud of our proverbial skin, and we do not hide our shortcomings in the closet either.

                Here, you get back what you serve up.

  3. Utah, my apologies for not getting your comments on earlier. They weren’t there when I went to bed last night, and this is the first time today I’ve been close to a computer (I go play basketball and then to breakfast on Friday mornings). I’ll answer some of your comments in more detail later, and you shouldn’t have any problem getting comments through now. Thanks for taking the time to read and write.

  4. “your argument that a thing cannot be understood or executed by people who have not directly experienced it or that there are people who pushed for war for personal reasons or gains in Iraq and Afghanistan simply cannot be supported.”

    If I had made such an argument, you might be correct. I didn’t say they couldn’t understand it–I said they have less credibility (or in the case of Romney, none), because they are hypocrits and perhaps cowards. They may have good arguments that overcome those shortcomings, of course–but their history means that the arguments should perhaps be questioned more strenuously. Just as we give more credibility to those willing to put their own names and photos behind their arguments than we do to the arguments of folks who hide behind pseudonyms.

    “I would wager that your first proposition would eliminate you from speaking about, supporting or opposing any number of issues because you have not personally experienced them.”

    Again, you’re basing it on a proposition I didn’t make. But I am glad to admit that I should have less automatic credibility on the issue than those who served in the military.

    “in spite of your doctorate, I find your line of thought childish and naive”

    A doctorate, I’ve found, does little to prevent either problem. Whether those characteristics happen to fit me, of course, is a matter of opinion. I’ve argued about issues of war at length on my own site, so won’t take the time or space to do so here.

    “What I also find repugnant about your position is your easy and capricious indictment of Republicans and conservatives as the ‘chicken hawks.’”

    I really wish people would read links (and of course in the post itself I referred to Obama as a chickenhawk). I highlighted the conservatives partly because they tend to be the ones who most strenuously favored military action in Iraq, but mostly because on other conservative blogs (not here, until now), people so often tell me that my opinion doesn’t matter because I’ve never been in the military.

    “We’re hardly the porn site that you make us out to be.”

    I think that claim is a bit strong. I wrote that the site “unfortunately sometimes relies on Fox News-style sexism to draw readers,” and considering that “Rule 5″ is your third tab above I think the characterization is fair. I also noted your site’s “sometimes-thoughtful interactions”–which doesn’t mean I’m making you out to be a collection of geniuses. :-)

    Finally, about your “scorecard”: Yes, Democrats have been wrong about war, too. So?

    Sorry for the long response, and thanks for your patience. I was greeted by several things to answer this morning–some even related to my real job. :-)

          • Augger,

            I know, and I understand. But I have James’ number. ALL of my Sociology professors were like this idiot — every one. The majority of my philosophy professors were liberal, too, but — being philosophers — they at least had some allegiance to logic and reasoning, so they would accept when you made a point.

            I had one sociology professor tell the class that 76% of the federal budget went to the military (this was in 1993). The next class, I brought the federal budget and showed her she was wrong. That’s when I found out that education, transportation, the military, departments of energy, the EPA and commerce and a whole bunch of other stuff — even welfare — are “military spending!!!” When I asked her how she figured, she said “They all support the military industrial complex.”

            I asked her — as part of that “education support system” — how did it feel to be part of the evil war machine and — therefore — a baby killer. She was not happy :-)

            I have A LOT of these stories. Happy to share, just ask :-)

  5. “A little re-post …”

    Kinda like a Mitt Romney ad, huh, Utah? You’ll keep regurgitating it, regardless of how often it’s proven wrong, assuming that if you keep saying it folks will buy it. How’d that work out for Mitt? Are you thinking of becoming a Mormon, too?

    But just in case people don’t see the corrections buried in the comments from months ago, let’s try again, shall we?

    “your argument that a thing cannot be understood or executed by people who have not directly experienced it or that there are people who pushed for war for personal reasons or gains in Iraq and Afghanistan simply cannot be supported.”

    If I had made such an argument, you might be correct. I didn’t say they couldn’t understand it–I said they have less credibility (or in the case of Romney, none), because they are hypocrits and perhaps cowards. They may have good arguments that overcome those shortcomings, of course–but their history means that the arguments should perhaps be questioned more strenuously. Just as we give more credibility to those willing to put their own names and photos behind their arguments than we do to the arguments of folks who hide behind pseudonyms.

    “I would wager that your first proposition would eliminate you from speaking about, supporting or opposing any number of issues because you have not personally experienced them.”

    Again, you’re basing it on a proposition I didn’t make. But I am glad to admit that I should have less automatic credibility on the issue than those who served in the military.

    “in spite of your doctorate, I find your line of thought childish and naive”

    A doctorate, I’ve found, does little to prevent either problem. Whether those characteristics happen to fit me, of course, is a matter of opinion. I’ve argued about issues of war at length on my own site, so won’t take the time or space to do so here.

    “What I also find repugnant about your position is your easy and capricious indictment of Republicans and conservatives as the ‘chicken hawks.’”

    I really wish people would read links (and of course in the post itself I referred to Obama as a chickenhawk). I highlighted the conservatives partly because they tend to be the ones who most strenuously favored military action in Iraq, but mostly because on other conservative blogs (not here, until now), people so often tell me that my opinion doesn’t matter because I’ve never been in the military.

    “We’re hardly the porn site that you make us out to be.”

    I think that claim is a bit strong. I wrote that the site “unfortunately sometimes relies on Fox News-style sexism to draw readers,” and considering that “Rule 5″ is your third tab above I think the characterization is fair. I also noted your site’s “sometimes-thoughtful interactions”–which doesn’t mean I’m making you out to be a collection of geniuses.

    Finally, about your “scorecard”: Yes, Democrats have been wrong about war, too. So?

    Gee, that was fun. Shall we repeat it in another four or five months?

  6. Something else to consider, Utah, when you replay this one in a few months, about your comment that “We’re hardly the porn site that you make us out to be,” and my comment that the RNL “unfortunately sometimes relies on Fox News-style sexism to draw readers.”

    Now Joe is bragging that just under 1,200 views for a post is “the first time I have ever seen a non-Rule 5 post generate this sort of interest on the RNL — ever!” Guess we all know now what brings the most traffic here, huh? ;-)

    http://therionorteline.com/2012/11/12/the-sorry-state-of-the-american-left/

    • McPherson: “Fox News-style sexism”

      I knew James was going to be all over that. Maybe you should try Rule #5, James. That would give us at least one reason to go over to your site. :)

      • “That would give us at least one reason to go over to your site.”

        Something you guys would understand, anyway. :-) But I seem to be doing OK without you all, so I guess I’ll keep trying to manage without it.

    • Nobody likes to read pedantic political crap all the time, McProgressive. From time to time, there are different posts on here that have nothing to do with politics, I write occasionally about business as well. As I related to you several months ago, the Rule 5 posts are less than about 5% of the total posts on this site and provide a break in the ongoing battle with apparently gender confused people such as yourself. Sometimes the Rule 5 posts do have political import as with the Sila Sahin post that was done to illustrate the duplicity and hypocrisy in the Islamic world and their fear of a woman’s body.

      Maybe if you would do something other than copy and paste Media Matters for America or Alternet, your traffic would go up, too.

      • “Rule 5 posts are less than about 5% of the total posts”

        Big deal. A more relevant issue is how much of the traffic they bring?

        “From time to time, there are different posts on here that have nothing to do with politics”

        Yep. On mine, too–though I don’t need sexism to bring a few folks to mine. Many of my posts have brought more than that 1,200 readers Joe is bragging about. The leader overall is close to 10,000, while the most for one post in one day is more than 3,000.

        But so what? We’re talking small potatoes in either case. Both of our blogs combined get fewer readers in a year than I’d get in a month when I worked as a newspaper columnist.

        “Maybe if you would do something other than copy and paste Media Matters for America or Alternet”

        Thanks for providing further evidence to anyone who cares that you truly have no clue what you’re talking about, and have read almost nothing on the blog you’re criticizing–despite the fact that I keep providing you with helpful links. :-)

        “your traffic would go up, too.”

        If that were my priority, I’d do several things differently. It’s not.

        • SBJ, I cannot believe you’re complaining on Rule 5 when you were actually featured in mine (with none other than the smokin Robert Redford, nonetheless!) What must I do to please you silly boys? Ya know; I. try. so. hard.

          You boys are really starting to aggravate me……

  7. Pingback: For Whatsoever A Man Soweth, That Shall He Also Reap | The Rio Norte Line

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