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Friday, July 09, 2004

Battle Patriotism - Iron Blogger Republican - Second Rebuttal

The Challenger was miffed by my assessment of her position. Let me address them again for clarification.

Her points in order:

1. "I call on the Iron Blogger to stipulate in her Closing Statement that there will never be a time when we can all agree on what it means to be or feel patriotic."

I'll do it now.

I stipulate that there will NEVER be a time when we can all agree that Bull Connor was a bad man.

I stipulate that that there will NEVER be a time that we all agree that adult men having sex with children is wrong.

I stipulate that there will NEVER be a time that we all agree that a husband can't rape his wife.

So? What of it?

Where does the "reasonable person standard" come in? When most people can say: I'm sorry you're an unpatriotic jerk.

How do we measure the meaning of any word if not by definition? I think that some things are obvious.

2. "Another is that my opponent hasn't offered us much in Battle Patriotism, beyond, "Here's the dictionary definition, and I think patriotism is good, and there's some hippie out in California who is a crazy hippie." This was not a prima facie case after her Opening Argument, and it is still not a prima facie case after the First Rebuttals"

Actually, what I offered were dictionary definitions of patriotism and treason to serve as a base from which to build. And then examples of what treasonous behavior looks like and what civil dissent, which is patriotic, looks like.

If examples of people exhibiting treasonous behavior isn't helpful then we should just put on our flag bikinis and hop in the mud. I can meow with the best of them. ;-)


3. "I said, 'One might argue that using anti-American sentiment to incite a group to violence against those perceived as pro-America could be considered treason... but it'd sure be a stretch, especially considering the ridiculously higher incidence of the reverse in action,' which is a vastly different statement.

My response: "The challenger suggests that there's documented evidence of violence toward people who are insufficiently patriotic but none of her links show any such violence, just one link about a mosque being vandalized."

That is what it sounded like you were saying but if it isn't, then I apologize for misunderstanding you. The link you provided with the vandalized mosque was not regarding people that were insufficiently patriotic. It was anti-Americanism. It was wrong but it was not attacking insufficiently patriotic people with violence.


Then she said: "Second, where I'm from, breaking into a building, spraypainting 'Sand Niggers'on the walls, and stealing religious artifacts is considered violence."

See that is where we differ. Where I'm from those are most definitely crimes but not violence. They are breaking and entering, vandalism and defacement and theft.


4. " The IB said, "Dictionary definitions are not 'fruit of the poison tree.' That's a Non-Sequitur." It can't be a non sequitur if I never said any such thing. I have no truck with the dictionary. I said that IB's opinion-based mores made her personal definitions unusable. "

I didn't provide personal definitions, I provided an example of treason that is supported by the dictionary definition. You didn't like Rebecca the Socialist College Student (not teenager) but she was one voice in a crowd of MANY screaming for the defeat of our military and support for the insurgents. Sorry but whether those people realized it or not they behaved treasonous.


5. "Then, while dillying with Iran-Contra, Rosemary completely ignored my reference to the Plame-Wilson affair. If there has been a more insidious act of high treason since Aldrich Ames, I can't think of it... and yet it was bypassed by the Iron Blogger completely. Sometimes silence speaks volumes."

The reason I didn't address it was that I [GASP] mostly agree with the assertion the challenger made. If, the person who gave up Plame's identity did it with the intent and desire to shut her husband up then I believe the act was treasonous to a degree. Was it first degree treason? Maybe not. It was not on the scale of giving our secrets to the Soviets or telling the enemy where our troops would be landing. But it was an act of treason, certainly.

Is it possible that the person who did it was a dipshit that didn't realize the ramifications? Sure. Unintentional treason is still treason. We have many terms for killing. Murder (1st-3rd degree), involuntary manslaughter, voluntary manslaughter, etc. In the end someone is still dead. Same with treason in the end a betrayal of country still occurred. I'm not going to argue a point that the challenger made that I agree with. Will I lose a debate point? Maybe but my consistency on the point of treason isn't going to flip to earn a point in a debate.


6. "The IB says, "[PG] talks about documented evidence of violence by the right and gives us no evidence of violence by the right." If anyone can show me where I talked even obliquely about violence "by the right", I'll bake them cookies."

I'll admit that it is possible that I misunderstood what you meant by "One might argue that using anti-American sentiment to incite a group to violence against those perceived as pro-America could be considered treason... but it'd sure be a stretch, especially considering the ridiculously higher incidence of the reverse in action."

Because when you said that your links were the Dixie Chicks, Pledge of Allegiance and a pro-war counter protest. I guess it was my bad to assume you were suggesting that "the right" was inciting violence. Those examples gave the wrong impression.

7. " The IB says, "I said that there is a way to express your dissent in a patriotic manner, [PG] disagrees with me." I'm offering another batch of cookies to anyone who can point out where I disagreed with that statement."

Well, here are your words:
"My opponent finishes with something that could be extrapolated to a "position": civil dissent equals patriotism. It's certainly a concept with lots of... qualities. It will be quite interesting to watch whether she is able to add some substantive theory and sourcing to flesh that idea out (I mean, I disagree with that position regardless, but I don't have to do much other than disagree, till the Iron Blogger provides something to actually rebut)."


I'll take chocolate chip, please. ;-)

8. "Rosemary gets very, very hung up on the sourcing I chose to back up my assertion that 'the only incontrovertible display of anti-Americanism is when representatives of the State challenge the 'patriotism' of a dissenting citizen' I linked CNN quoting Dick Cheney, yet she says I give "not a single example" -- not once but twice! repeating herself with 'No actual link proving our 'elected officials' have committed the offense you speak of'..."

I had zero quibble with your CNN source. It's a perfectly fine source. My quibble is that you said it was "challenging the patriotism of a dissenting citizen" and I say that it wasn't. Many people think it was wrong of Dick Cheney to tell Sen. Pat Leahy to F-off but that wasn't being unpatriotic - that was using devisive rhetoric.

This part was just funny:
"Sure, Bill Press aligns liberal, but when you compare it to my opponent's sourcing pattern -- she who has relied almost completely on Republican/conservative/pro-Bush private blogs (this LT Smash person must be quite the blogger), and the dictionary/Wikipedia -- I think my one li'l ol' CNN link is practically authoritative."


Wow. Lt Smash is a registered Democrat( voted for Edwards in the Primary) that fought in Iraq and blogged while he was there. He is hugely popular and very fair. He is an authority on the WOT and has been on CNN and been interviewed countless times.

Dean Esmay is currently Pro-Bush but he's an Independent and fairly Liberal. Trust me, we disagree on a whole lot politically.

Michele Catalano was a Democrat until 9/11. She suffered the loss of many friends in that attack and while she supports Bush, she isn't a conservative or a Republican.

I admit that I used many sources that align with me politically but there isn't a thing wrong with it. One great thing about blogs is that they cover much that the mainstream media miss. Blogs are an accepted source on the Iron Blog and frankly reading popular blogs that align opposite your political view can be educational. I read Atrios and Kos almost daily. My personal blog is filled with hardcore liberals and I like it that way. It helps me to see opposing opinions. I highly recommend it.


PG then asks me to interpret Dick Cheney's statement:
"Such commentary is thoroughly irresponsible and totally unworthy of national leaders in a time of war."


What commentary was he referring to exactly? When a Senator demanded to know if the Bush Administration had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attack? When a Senator screamed "What did he know and when did he know it" on the Senate floor while holding the NY Post with the headline "Bush Knew" (that bastion of responsible journalism)?

Was Hillary being unpatriotic? No she was acting like a screeching harpy and she was being irresponsible. Cheney called a spade a spade and he was right to do so.

Asking for an inquiry and wanting answers is perfectly reasonable. Screaming like a lunatic on the Senate floor and practically accusing the President of murder is WAY WRONG. And it doesn't matter who that President is.

"So, my opponent is saying that people who use profanity in anger are unpatriotic, lazy and stupid."


Okay, I apologize for comparing your intelligence to my 6 year old. I would like to point out that my son is brilliant, btw.

Now you missed my point entirely or are purposely being obtuse. I said that people who swear are being lazy and stupid. I have been guilty of that on occasion. ;-)

But...

People that can't express their dissent in a civil manner are not only lazy and stupid but unpatriotic as well. That is why I said very clearly: "If you can't express your dissent in a civil manner not only are you unpatriotic, but you are also lazy and stupid."

Is that more clear?


Respecfully Submitted:

Rosemary Esmay, Iron Blogger Republican
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Thursday, July 08, 2004

Battle Patriotism - Challenger - Second Rebuttal

As much fun as it would likely be for the audience (and surely the two of us as well, if we're being honest) if Rosemary and I allowed this jabfest to remain on its current course and escalate into a full-scale hair-pulling cat-fight, I'm simply can't waste the kilobytes. My list of talking points is far too long as is!

Out of the gate, I believe it worth noting that I was comparing myself to the schoolmarm, in the opening of my Tuesday rebuttal. I can be a little snipey for grins, but I wouldn't just outright insult like that -- honest.

Now, let's get right to business. The Iron Blogger has misinterpreted or misdirected several statements of mine; whether in confusion or strategy is not for me to guess, but I still need to make them clear for the record.

1. The IB said, "[PG's] position is that patriotism is indefinable, she's essentially arguing that no debate is possible."

Not at all. My position is that patriotism does have a clinical definition but that its execution is individual and personal. I never said anything like "debate is impossible." The Chairman asked what patriotism is, and I took a position that, whatever it may be, it is definitely cannot be what the Bush Administration and its mouthpieces claim it is when they use the concept to obfuscate their actions to the American people.

I said "we cannot credibly judge or sanction the level of patriotism in an individual." I can have the opinion that Rosemary is unpatriotic, and she can have the opinion that I am unpatriotic... and either opinion, plus a token, will get us on the subway... and neither of us is wrong or right. There is no catholic criterion, therefore the Iron Blogger can't be in possession of it.

I call on the Iron Blogger to stipulate in her Closing Statement that there will never be a time when we can all agree on what it means to be or feel patriotic.

2. The IB said, "The challenger is upset that I gave her little to rebut. Perhaps there isn't much to rebut in a winning argument."

Well, that's one way of looking at it. Another is that my opponent hasn't offered us much in Battle Patriotism, beyond, "Here's the dictionary definition, and I think patriotism is good, and there's some hippie out in California who is a crazy hippie." This was not a prima facie case after her Opening Argument, and it is still not a prima facie case after the First Rebuttals -- even with the addition of "A college senior is at least 21. That's totally different from a teenager! Stalinists! Fantasy demons! Circus clown! Nazi stormtrooper! Saddam Hussein! KKK! Communist! Moonbat! Hey, what's that in the sky?"

3. The IB said, "The challenger suggests that there's documented evidence of violence toward people who are insufficiently patriotic but none of her links show any such violence, just one link about a mosque being vandalized."

First, I didn't actually say that. I said, "One might argue that using anti-American sentiment to incite a group to violence against those perceived as pro-America could be considered treason... but it'd sure be a stretch, especially considering the ridiculously higher incidence of the reverse in action," which is a vastly different statement.

Second, where I'm from, breaking into a building, spraypainting "Sand Niggers" on the walls, and stealing religious artifacts is considered violence. And from the same article about the mosque:
"Incidents targeting mosques and Islamic centers have occurred across America, particularly since the 9/11 terror attacks. In August of last year, investigators determined that a blaze at the Islamic Center of Savannah in Savannah, Ga., was an act of arson. In 2002, a pick-up truck was driven into the front of the Islamic Center of Tallahassee, Fla. Similar attacks have occurred in a number of other states, including Texas, Washington and Ohio."


If there is a remarkably different standard in Rosemary's location for the definition of violence in other states, I'd be happy to entertain a discussion about how the aforementioned might not be considered violent.

Third, I suspect Rosemary did not read the other links. If she had, she would have known that Jehovah's Witnesses were routinely beaten and persecuted for refusing to pledge allegiance to the U.S. flag (it is forbidden by their religious tenets) in the 1930's and 1940's. This is not one isolated vague half-reference from one website, either. Here are more links for anyone else who didn't know about that particular persecution in the name of patriotism. How is this not violence?:
"Jehovah's Witnesses meetings were besieged, windows were smashed and their meeting halls were set ablaze. In Oregon, the governor called out the militia to quell a mob. The United States Attorney General, saying that Jehovah's Witnesses 'have been repeatedly set upon and beaten,' made a nationwide radio appeal to the American people to stop the violence."
~ Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul E. Pfeifer


The Iron Blogger obviously had one of two trains of thought: she knows that "violence toward people who are insufficiently patriotic" does happen, but merely wanted to point out what she considered a paucity of links -- or she truly doesn't believe that violence is perpetrated toward people who are insufficiently patriotic. (Rosemary, please let me know which of these two is the case and I will rectify it either way in my Closing.)

4. The IB said, "Dictionary definitions are not 'fruit of the poison tree.' That's a Non-Sequitur." It can't be a non sequitur if I never said any such thing. I have no truck with the dictionary. I said that IB's opinion-based mores made her personal definitions unusable. Since I'd already established that an interpretation of "patriotism" based solely on personal opinion is flawed, subsequently using that tainted interpretation to then define "treasonous" is just about a textbook case of the legal concept of "fruit of the poisonous tree."

5. The IB said, "[Iran-Contra] is hardly a clear-cut example of treason." Only, I never said it was a clear-cut anything. In fact, I was careful to qualify my statement with no superlatives, and said "many considered the Iran-Contra affair an open act of treason."

Then, while dillying with Iran-Contra, Rosemary completely ignored my reference to the Plame-Wilson affair. If there has been a more insidious act of high treason since Aldrich Ames, I can't think of it... and yet it was bypassed by the Iron Blogger completely. Sometimes silence speaks volumes.

I feel that the only right thing my opponent can do here is to stipulate to my second point in re "treasonous" and "traitorous"... or quit messing around with Rebecca the Teenaged Socialist, and let's get down to Valerie Plame -- some real live treason, documented in places other than one neocon blog, and committed by George W. Bush's people:
"The latest salvo was launched this week when a group of respected former CIA officials, led by decorated analyst Larry C. Johnson, sent a letter to [Dennis Hastert] demanding that Congress hold the White House accountable for deliberately revealing the identity of [Plame]. Johnson, who also served as deputy director for the State Department's Office of Counter Terrorism, says the administration's political tactics are clear. 'With this White House, I see an outright pattern of bullying,' he told Salon in an interview Thursday. 'We've seen it across different agencies, a pattern of going after anybody who's a critic. When people raise legitimate issues that may not be consistent with existing administration policy, those people are attacked and their character is impugned.'"

"'When you expose clandestine human intelligence sources,' he fumes, 'you aid and abet terrorists.' Johnson speaks out not as a partisan opponent to the president, but as a registered Republican who has given money to Bush in the past."


Interestingly, the Iron Blogger sourced Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs... but Charles himself calls a man who "disclosed confidential details about his country�s military programme" a "Traitor By Any Definition."

6. The IB says, "[PG] talks about documented evidence of violence by the right and gives us no evidence of violence by the right." If anyone can show me where I talked even obliquely about violence "by the right", I'll bake them cookies.

To use Rosemary's own words, "It's rather irresponsible to accuse a [wo]man of saying something [s]he never said." Especially when that something is attributing violence to an entire ideological group.

Whether or not there is a Freudian slip to be noted in the fact that I talked about pro-American violence incited toward those who are perceived as anti-American... and Rosemary interpreted that as violence "by the right"... well, that's really not for me to ponder.

7. The IB says, "I said that there is a way to express your dissent in a patriotic manner, [PG] disagrees with me." I'm offering another batch of cookies to anyone who can point out where I disagreed with that statement. It's not that this tiny point is a hole in the dam of the entire argument or anything -- it's just another glaring example of a place where my opponent took a few of the major words I might have used ("dissent, patriotic," etc.) and rearranged them in a sentence that has no connection at all with my posts. It's like refrigerator magnet poetry, only with far darker implications.

8. Rosemary gets very, very hung up on the sourcing I chose to back up my assertion that "the only incontrovertible display of anti-Americanism is when representatives of the State challenge the 'patriotism' of a dissenting citizen". I linked CNN quoting Dick Cheney, yet she says I give "not a single example" -- not once but twice! repeating herself with "No actual link proving our 'elected officials' have committed the offense you speak of"...

Now, for my part, I think that CNN, publishing one of their regular contributors, who was a former host of Crossfire and well-respected in the American political community, and is talking about the Vice President of the United States, is a nice legitimate link.

Sure, Bill Press aligns liberal, but when you compare it to my opponent's sourcing pattern -- she who has relied almost completely on Republican/conservative/pro-Bush private blogs (this LT Smash person must be quite the blogger), and the dictionary/Wikipedia -- I think my one li'l ol' CNN link is practically authoritative.

In the event that it is not CNN with whom Rosemary quibbles, but the idea that Vice President Cheney Himself was misrepresented, let's disregard Bill Press and look at just the words from Cheney's own mouth on May 21, 2002:

"Such commentary is thoroughly irresponsible and totally unworthy of national leaders in a time of war."

This is actually the crux of my entire argument: for the Vice President of the United States of America to refuse to answer questions posed by the public about the actions of our very own government, and insult the querent in the process, is the total opposite of patriotism. He does not have to actually literally use the word "patriotism" in order to question someone's patriotism.

And yet, the Iron Blogger interpreted his sentence as "[Cheney] criticized people for irresponsible and divisive rhetoric." Either she is patently ignoring Cheney's intended point in order to gloss over the audacity, or I am misunderstanding, and my opponent can clarify by answering the following:

Rosemary, how do you interpret "Such commentary is thoroughly irresponsible and totally unworthy of national leaders in a time of war"? Is it truly "divisive", as you said? Who is being divided? What part of inquiring about the administration's intelligence knowledge prior to September 11 is "rhetoric"? The phrase "divisive rhetoric" is usually used regarding partisan message. Can you help me understand how inquiries about September 11 are de facto partisan?

Was Dick Cheney or was he not saying that we shouldn't question our government? He either was or wasn't. If inquiring about the administration's intelligence knowledge prior to September 11 is legitimately "irresponsible," then can you help me understand the purpose of the Federal 9-11 Commission? Can you show me instances where the commission refused to provide information to victims' family members on the basis that doing so would be "irresponsible" under Dick Cheney's reasoning (since it is still a time of war, after all)?

I'm happy to listen, because what I care most about walking away from my stint as Iron Blog Challenger with is understanding.

To close with the bit of the IB's 1R that I found the silliest:

In comparing my intelligence to that of her 6-year-old (and finding mine lacking), the Iron Blogger says:

"He asked me why people swear. My reply was simple: when people are angry it's too hard to think. They turn lazy and stupid. They are unable to express themselves thoughtfully. Basically, they already have a limited vocabulary and the anger stresses them to a breaking point. They can no longer think clearly. My son understood that why can't the Challenger?

"If you can't express your dissent in a civil manner not only are you unpatriotic, but you are also lazy and stupid."


So, my opponent is saying that people who use profanity in anger are unpatriotic, lazy and stupid.

If I'm not mistaken, the Iron Blogger just called the President of the United States unpatriotic, which is unpatriotic. Why does she hate America?
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Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Battle Patriotism - Iron Blogger Republican - First Rebuttal

I guess the first rebuttal is a great place to start with snark. I know that you feel let down by the lack of hot "girl on girl" action, I do too. I read a lot of PG's stuff and I was concerned that I'd come across as a pedophile if I went at it with her.

Her Opening Statement was almost enough to alleviate that concern, unfortunately her rebuttal cemented in my mind that my instincts were correct. If I came across like a lecturing schoolmarm, it is only because my challenger isn't too far removed from school. How is summer vacation going, PG?

The challenger is upset that I gave her little to rebut. Perhaps there isn't much to rebut in a winning argument. Fortunately, the challenger has given me plenty to rebut.

Her position is that patriotism is indefinable, she's essentially arguing that no debate is possible. But this is absurd. People can demonstrate their feelings. For example:
A man who rapes women is by definition not someone who shows love for women.

A woman who kills her own children is not acting like a loving mother.


If you hate America or the American people you by definition cannot be a patriot.

Unless you love Nazis or Stalinists, anyway. I suppose under some perverse form of love, like the woman who says she loves a man who beats her every night, we could say that such an attitude may be based on love. But that seems rather strained.

The challenger suggests that there's documented evidence of violence toward people who are insufficiently patriotic but none of her links show any such violence, just one link about a mosque being vandalized. The Dixie Chicks exercised their right to free speech and the fallout was ordinary Americans doing the same. Americans made their voice heard. Protesting is as American as apple pie. If a group wants to counter protest, it is every bit their right to do so. This is still America.

No one is required to be a patriot. The first amendment guarantees freedom of speech. You can believe whatever you want. You can think America's evil. You can think most Americans are idiots. That's your right as an American--you can treat your country with all the contempt you want. But you don't pretend you're practicing patriotism if you believe such things.

Dictionary definitions are not "fruit of the poison tree." That is a Non-Sequitur. Patriotism is love of and devotion to one's country. You can't measure that mathematically but you can certainly demonstrate that you have love and devotion, and you can also demonstrate that you have contempt for your country. Many people do.

Bringing up the Iran-Contra Affair as an example of treason is specious and an apparent effort to bring up a red herring: this debate will turn into a debate over that affair if I say too much about it, but I'll just note that what amounted to a loud argument between the Executive and Legislative branches of our government over the best way to free hostages is hardly a clear-cut example of treason. You can think that if you want, but many others would find that to be just plain stupid. But this isn't about Iran-Contra, it's about love vs. hate.

Her second part was mostly hysteria but some of it was too good to pass up:

Since September 11, our elected officials and their minions and yes-men have used the specter of anti-Americanism to browbeat those who would question their choices. This is practically the definition of argumentum ad hominem, the logical fallacy of attacking one's character instead of their actual position.

Karen Hughes talking about the President's pro-life position is "brow-beating"? Unless you are referring to those nasty women that took her remarks out of context and demanded an apology and her head on a platter? If you are, I agree: those horrible Women's Groups were definitely attempting to "brow-beat" Hughes to fall into line.

No actual link proving our "elected officials" have committed the offense you speak of so you use Rush Limbaugh. That's a little desperate. I swear liberals must be the only people that actually listen to Rush. I know I don't. If I want to hear a clown, I go to the circus.

In her third part, she quotes an opinion piece where Cheney supposedly questioned people's patriotism by saying their rhetoric was irresponsible. Funny part is, nowhere did Cheney question anyone's patriotism, he criticized people for irresponsible and divisive rhetoric. It's rather irresponsible to accuse a man of saying something he never said.

Indeed, she gives not a single example of any elected official questioning anyone's patriotism. It's impossible to rebut something that never happened. Indeed her whole piece reads like this. She talks about documented evidence of violence by the right and gives us no evidence of violence by the right. She talks about elected officials openly questioning people's patriotism but then provides not one single example of any elected official doing so.

It must be interesting to live in a paranoid fantasy world. But the subject here is patriotism, not fantasy-demons on the right.

Now to cover her fourth point.
"To question why we are at war in Iraq, and whether we were sold a pig in a poke by the Bush administration to get there, is not unpatriotic. One thing George McGovern nailed in one was his statement that "[t]he highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher standard."

Americans are now calling. Our leaders don't get to ignore -- not by silence, media oppression, obfuscation or insults."


No, dissent does not make one a patriot. If it did, members of the KKK or the Communist Party would be automatically considered patriots just for being who they are. It is how that dissent is expressed. A moonbat who compares terrorists killing our troops in Iraq to minutemen even as our troops die trying to bring democracy and human rights to that nation, a moonbat who thinks most Americans are stupid and need God and the Iraqis to forgive us is pretty much by definition not acting like a patriot.

Someone who compares American soldiers to Nazis and Arab-hating murderers, who thinks America is akin to Stalinist Russia and who want the terrorists to win and wants us to be bombed is pretty clearly not acting like a patriot.

In her rebuttal the challenger was confused. I will attempt to sort it out for her now:
"Are you as confused as I am about my opponent's actual case? I don't see anything close to a prima facie argument. The Iron Blogger compares Rebecca the Socialist Teenager to Sue the Mother of the Dead American Soldier. Which is the patriot?"


The Challenger appears to be the only one confused by my examples. While she spent much time reading all about Sue Niederer, she gave little examination to Rebecca. If she did she would NEVER have called Rebecca "the Socialist Teenager". Why? Because Rebecca is not a teenager but a senior at UCSD [University of California San Diego].

I can understand a mother whose son was killed in a war she didn't believe in to speak poorly about the President who took us to that war. But I assume we don't even have to ask if she'd appreciate her son being compared to a Nazi stormtrooper. Where is the confusion? I never said you had to like the President or be kind to him. I said:
"If you are anti-war do your best to support the President and our country by expressing your dissent in civil, thoughtful terms. Because supporting the Commander In Chief is what patriotism demands in the middle of a major war. "


That means you can hate the President's guts but you show your support for the "CinC" by expressing your dissent in a civil manner. Her venom at Bush was laced with the pain of her loss.

You didn't like Rebecca because she seemed too young, how about Gillian?
"The Iraqi people have shown their willingness to resist under great odds. So have soldiers like Camilo Mejia, who was just sentenced to a year of hard labor for refusing to go back to Iraq. Now it’s our turn. We have a huge responsibility – let’s get out there and rebuild this movement, step by step, until Iraqis can determine their own future, and all our troops are home!"

So, according to LT Smash, Gillian is not only supporting the Iraqi insurgents but she is aiming for a U.S. defeat in Iraq. Read the interview it's stunning. I'll note that Gillian is a high school history teacher in East L.A., lots of teachers appear to members of her group.

This was the best part of PG's rebuttal:
"My opponent finishes with something that could be extrapolated to a "position": civil dissent equals patriotism. It's certainly a concept with lots of... qualities. It will be quite interesting to watch whether she is able to add some substantive theory and sourcing to flesh that idea out (I mean, I disagree with that position regardless, but I don't have to do much other than disagree, till the Iron Blogger provides something to actually rebut)."

Do you get the feeling that she just disagrees with me because she feels she's is expected to do so?

I said that there is a way to express your dissent in a patriotic manner, she disagrees with me. But she said this in her Opening Statement:
"To question why we are at war in Iraq, and whether we were sold a pig in a poke by the Bush administration to get there, is not unpatriotic."


Isn't that what I said? Or is she saying that it isn't possible to question the Bush Administration in a civil manner? If that's true, then we Americans have gotten lazy. This reminds me of a talk I had with my 6 year old son. He asked me why people swear. My reply was simple: when people are angry it's too hard to think. They turn lazy and stupid. They are unable to express themselves thoughtfully. Basically, they already have a limited vocabulary and the anger stresses them to a breaking point. They can no longer think clearly. My son understood that why can't the Challenger?

If you can't express your dissent in a civil manner not only are you unpatriotic but you are also lazy and stupid.

I will end with this little ditty from Mitch at Shot in the Dark:
For the ten-thousandth time - yes. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes, dissent can be patriotic. Dissent away.

Yes. Oh, yes, yes, We were a nation born from dissent. We started in an armed, violent revolution - the dissentiest dissent there is, yepper, sho nuff.

Dissent is American. Got it.

But there comes a time - and the point moves back and forth depending on the issue - when dissent becomes no longer patriotic. And then seditious. And then treason.
With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy:

If You Believe: that America has problems - huge problems - then dissent is American.
But If You Believe: ...that America's problems make it an inherently rotten concept, then maybe you should think about whether you're living in the right place.

If You Believe: ...that America's projection of power around the world is immoral - then dissent is American.
But If You Believe: ...that any projection of American power is inherely unjust because it's America, then maybe you should be living in, say, Sweden? Just an idea.

If You Believe: ...that capitalism is wrong because its inequalities are inherely unjust, then dissent is American.
But If You Believe: ...that the free market is inherently, irrevocably evil, perhaps China would be a better fit? Just suggesting...

If You Believe: ...that invading Iraq was wrong, then dissent is American.
But If You Believe: ...that our temporary administration of Iraq is worse than Hussein's 30 year reign of horrors, then perhaps you should rot in hell we need to have an attitude adjustment.

Got it?


Respectfully Submitted:

Rosemary Esmay, Iron Blogger Republican
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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Battle Patriotism - Challenger - First Rebuttal

I wish I could say I wasn't disappointed: there's not much fun in imagining the hot girl-on-girl action of a Lady Blogger Brawl when one of us is tsk-ing like a priggish schoolmarm. But I'm disappointed nonetheless, and I won't stifle that just for you horndog spectators.

I feel that the Iron Blogger Republican's preferred strategy of minimal Opening Argument is a defensive tack: sit back, let the opponent do all the work in generating substantive blog content, and then tear that content down with red-herring rebuttals. Despite being aware of the strategy, I knew I'd be bringing my own A game, and therefore I hoped to receive the same via an OA from the IB with some meat on its bones... that actually, you know, said something about the topic at hand. I just don't subscribe to the common Iron Blog justification that the "blind" style of the Opening Argument makes it too difficult to launch a debate with something solid. Then again, being a Democrat, it's nice to see the Republican playing defense, for a change. ;-)

To be fair, the Iron Blogger does technically say "something" about the topic at hand. Here are the somethings, in a nutshell:

Patriotism = good. Freedom = good. Hitler = bad. Socialists = bad. Mothers of dead soldiers = good. Enemy = bad. Soldiers = good.

But unless she's changing her moniker to Iron Blogger MOTO, those somethings aren't enough, and we've got to actually examine patriotism -- not through Rose-colored glasses but with a critical eye.

For example, my opponent begins her post with flowery talk about liberty and freedom. Those are unquestionably American concepts -- as red, white and blue as the flag over my house today -- but they have nothing to do with patriotism. Liberty and freedom are synonymous; they are states of being. A person is free or he is not. It is a condition, a quality of existence.

Patriotism is an emotion, a value, a belief. It simply cannot be quantified. There is no scientific binary control that determines whether a person is patriotic or not. All the florid prose and Bush-Hitler comparisons in the whole world won't change that.

My opponent would prefer you to forget everything we know about human psychology and cognition, though, and play along with her idea that the question of "Whether or not you love the President, do you agree with our goal?" can be asked -- and that the answer would determine whether or not a person was patriotic.

And it certainly might -- to her mind. But that is still just an individual opinion, which can no more be measurably quantified in society than patriotism... or familial love... or fear of failure... or whether in fact your breakup with Terry Hodges in the 8th grade was anywhere approaching "mutual." Further, since the Iron Blogger wants to use her own opinion-based mores to define "traitor" and "treason", those definitions become fruit of the poisonous tree as well, and must be disregarded.

Now, let's call a spade a bloody shovel, already: there's nothing wrong with opinion. We aren't arguing for a man's life in front of a jury of his peers -- we are blogging, and there would be no blogging without opinion. But other than a couple of dictionary definitions, her own opinion is all Rosemary has here, which would be fine... if this weren't the Iron Blog and she weren't the Iron Blogger. "Because I personally think so" all by itself might be enough over at Free "Now with more noise, and even less signal!" Republic -- but if it flies here, then the integrity of the very venue itself has been undermined.

Are you as confused as I am about my opponent's actual case? I don't see anything close to a prima facie argument. The Iron Blogger compares Rebecca the Socialist Teenager to Sue the Mother of the Dead American Soldier. Which is the patriot?

Is it Rebecca, who opposes Kerry but also the Iraqi occupation? No... IB calls Rebecca "treasonous," so I guess it can't be her.

Is it Sue Niederer, the real-life example offered for Rosemary's assertion that "supporting the Commander In Chief is what patriotism demands in the middle of a major war"? The same Sue, who says in the interview at IB's own link:
"Get your blinders off, open your eyes and come out and realize what Mr. Bush is. I can't even call him President, because as far as I'm concerned, he is the most dishonorable, disrespectful, outrageous, disgusting person you could possibly ask for."

"We're not for the war, we're not for Bush, and we're not for the lies, and we're not for the deception of what our government is throwing at us."

If that's "supporting the Commander-in-Chief", I guess we'd better have Battle Support next, and debate that definition and figure out what the definition of "is" is, because refusing to acknowledge Bush as the president doesn't seem like anything approximating the Iron Blogger's definition of patriotism.

But, wait, hold on -- the author of the Sue Niederer interview at the IB's link closes with:
"Also, though it's clear that I don't agree with Ms. Niederer's position on the war, and my position is obviously removed from the pain of losing a child, I have to give her great credit for one thing: of all of the people that I've listened to or interviewed at one of these protests, she presents the most morally consistent argument."

Hmmm. That helped me a little bit, because it's so close to the exact words of the Iron Blogger's thoughts on Sue Niederer. So, though I still don't know what my opponent's case is, at least I'm pretty sure that she thinks that Sue the Soldier's Mom (who opposes the war and finds President Bush dishonorable and disgusting), is the patriot of the two, and that one can insult the President, disavow his leadership, and decry the war while remaining a patriot as long as one is "morally consistent" about it.

My opponent finishes with something that could be extrapolated to a "position": civil dissent equals patriotism. It's certainly a concept with lots of... qualities. It will be quite interesting to watch whether she is able to add some substantive theory and sourcing to flesh that idea out (I mean, I disagree with that position regardless, but I don't have to do much other than disagree, till the Iron Blogger provides something to actually rebut).

The Iron Blogger Republican set her tone with a true-blue quote from Patrick Henry's most famous speech. If only she'd read the whole oration, she would have seen that on the same day, he also said:
No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony.

The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I am too, Mr. Henry, but I fear that my opponent is not. I hope she proves me wrong in the days to come.

~ PG
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Monday, July 05, 2004

Battle Patriotism - Iron Blogger Republican - Opening Statement

What is patriotism? You can describe it many ways but the words of Patrick Henry often come to mind:
"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"


Give me liberty or give me death. What does it mean?

Freedom.

Patriotism is love of country and for what that country stands. It doesn't mean you have to love the President but when we are at war we should stand untied. You don't have to agree with the means or method but the goal. Our goal is always protect our liberty first. Our secondary goals are usually to protect our allies and to help spread democracy and freedom.

Patriotism should not be confused with jingoism. Jingoism is an extreme form of Nationalism that characteristically has a belligerent foreign policy, such as Hitler's invasion, occupation of Europe and plan for jewish extermination. Hitler did it for Germany's glory. That, my friends, is jingoism. Many try to claim that the Bush foreign policy is similar to Hitler's. I have only two things to say about that:


1. You obviously failed history or had a really crappy teacher.
2. Self-defense, preservation of liberty and liberation are not belligerant. It's been our way since our founding.


What is treasonous?
Violation of allegiance toward one's country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one's country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies.


Some anti-war protesters are doing such things. Like Rebecca for instance:
"And the first thing is that we need to support the Resistance of Iraqis in Iraq. (applause) Right. These are people who are risking their lives to get the United States out of their country. And we have to see them as our allies. We have to see them as our main allies."



Dissent.

There is a way to express dissent in a thoughtful patriotic manner. Rebecca's way and the way of her supporters isn't the way. Her way is treasonous. Supporting the people that are actively working to kill our men and women is wrong.

Many anti-war people are simply anti-war and anti-violence. I disagree with them but I respect that position and there is a way to communicate that position without being a traitor.

If you are anti-war do your best to support the President and our country by expressing your dissent in civil, thoughtful terms. Because supporting the Commander In Chief is what patriotism demands in the middle of a major war.

For example, Sue Niederer is a woman that lost her son in Iraq. She is anti-war and her position is reasonable. It is peppered with pain and anguish but she is still thoughtful in her dissent:
INDC: Well, in Iraq, what the soldiers have been sent there to do … is it a waste of time? Do you think that your son and the troops have done any good in Iraq?

Sue Niederer: I think when they brought down Saddam Hussein, yes, they did good. This was the original mission. Once Saddam Hussein was toppled, then it became time to get us out of there. Our mission is accomplished, as even President Bush, oh, excuse me (mock spits) BUSH, okay, said: we have accomplished our mission. We do not really need to be there any longer, but we’re now committed to a minimum of 2005, 2006. Our mission is accomplished. They do not want us there, they want to govern themselves. And that’s fine, that’s exactly the way it should be. Allow them to govern themselves and get us out!


She's angry but she does not support the insurgents. She does not call our soldiers baby killers and murderers. She does not want the soldiers to kill their officers. She believes they accomplished their mission and she wants them home. I disagree with her but I have not lost a child and I do not know her pain. He arguments are morally consistent and that is all I can ask for and something I can respect.

Do you have to support the war effort blindly to be a patriot?

No.

But you must at all cost express your dissent without aligning yourself with our enemy. You must not support those that wish us or our soldiers dead. To do otherwise make you a traitor, whether you realize it or not.

Our soldiers fight for freedom. They fight for you and for me. Whether we want them to or not, we owe them and ourselves civility at all times and at all costs. Be it with our support or with our dissent.

We owe our soldiers and our country our best. We owe them our patriotism.


Respectfully Submitted,
Rosemary Esmay, Iron Blogger Republican
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Battle Patriotism - Challenger - Opening Argument

July 4

I've just returned home, having spent the holiday weekend away from the miasma of Dallas (or "237 parking lots in search of a city," as I like to call it). Just before leaving for the return trip, I checked my email one last time to see if our esteemed Chairman had sent the Battle topic. He had not -- but I did get a quick note from a pal, who joked that, since I would be on the road from before sunset to long after, "So you're missing fireworks? Man, you really DO hate America."

Indeed.

"Why do you hate America?" has become so common a query in today's Brave New World under President George W. Bush that it has passed the realm of a logical fallacy employed by savvy political operatives to hamstring their opponents (see also: "when did you stop beating your wife?")... and moved straight to cliched punchline. I doubt my friend took the time to ponder the irony of using words on July 4, 2004 that would have been considered an offensive charge of treason if asked of one of the founding fathers.

It is with a heart full of poignant emotion that I pause to take stock of the holiday. My ears ring with "Stars and Stripes Forever", my eyes take in every last "These Colors May Bleed But They Don't Run" SUV decal, my soul revels reviles reverberates at the prolific display of flag shirts.... for just a fiver, you too can display your national pride, Good American! Thank you, Old Navy! (and, thank you too, Pacific sweatshop workers, laboring for pennies on the U.S. dollar to keep our price for patriotism so low!)...

Lo! I have confused poignant emotion for nausea, as I observe a society around me that has never jumped quicker to wrap itself in the trappings of "patriotism," even as it narrows its eyes at neighbors, castigating countrymen who don't look or act "American enough."

But the hypocrisy is mine to bear, if I would judge those who judge. Patriotism is "love of country; devotion to the welfare of one's country; the virtues and actions of a patriot; the passion which inspires one to serve one's country," sayeth Webster. And who can measure the love, devotion, passion, or virtue of another? Or qualify it? or denigrate it?

I don't plan to wax mushy romantic here (just because I'm a chick doesn't mean I'm girlie), but where we find ourselves, the lovely Ms. Rosemary and I, is that we have been asked to define a subjective, baggage-laden term that defies definition. One man's patriotism is another man's jingoism, is another man's nationalism, is another man's boosterism, is another man's car door -- and who is to say which is which? Like all emotions, patriotism is complicated, and one size doesn't fit all.

"What is a Patriot in these times of war and uncertainty?" the Chairman asked.

"What is a 'patriot' in any time?" I reply. In and of itself, serving in the military does not make one patriotic or un-. Neither does not serving. The act of voting to go to war does not make one patriotic or un-. The only person that can unequivocally decide what patriotism means and whether it resides in any citizen's soul is that man or woman, in the mirror every morning.

[The first part of my position is that we cannot credibly judge or sanction the level of patriotism (or even the presence thereof) in any individual citizen.]

As to "treasonous" and "traitorous"... there was a time when those terms were reserved for those who actually committed crimes against America. Double agency during the Cold War is one example, causing our operatives in the USSR to be executed at the hands of the KGB. Aldrich Ames was a treasonous traitor, no question. And, our enemy's enemy is not always our friend, as we all have learned with the benefit of hindsight -- many considered the Iran-Contra affair an open act of treason.

To commit a true act of treason is unpatriotic. You know, like if a White House official broke the cover of a CIA operative in political retaliation because her husband publicly questioned the WMD charge that Bush used to lead the country to war? Well, that would be inarguably treasonous... and therefore about as unpatriotic as one can get. But regardless, a true act of treason is so rare these days that we can safely stipulate that it's a non-issue in the discussion.

(One might argue that using anti-American sentiment to incite a group to violence against those perceived as pro-America could be considered treason... but it'd sure be a stretch, especially considering the ridiculously higher incidence of the reverse in action.)

All things considered, the words "treasonous" and "traitorous" are bandied about so freely -- no longer slanderous epithets used sparingly but daily campaign fodder, just another tired set of talking points handed down from the head hacks -- that their shock value is now nil and their meaning is diluted. We can scratch those as bearing any remarkable weight.

[The second part of my position is that the words "treasonous" and "traitorous" have become practically meaningless, thanks to their overuse in the inflammatory rhetoric that is commonplace to the partisan players (of both sides) in American politics today.]

And it's definitely both sides. The liberal intelligentsia does love to perpetuate its "haught couture" -- witness even me, as I gently mocked someone who felt compelled to have a bald eagle and a flag airbrushed on his truck, right in this very post. That's not against any law -- freedom of speech and all that -- but there's also nothing superior about disparaging those who express their national pride in a legal fashion... no matter how tacky, how uninformed. (Frankly, that's part of the anxiety I feel as a libertarian-leaning liberal who has not yet seen Fahrenheit 9-11: is Michael Moore going to make me uncomfortable with the "crap percentage"?)

I feel that patriotism usually morphs into a negative emotion, one that leads well-meaning citizens to exclude, to draw the line in the sand between Us and Them. But as I resolved earlier, what I feel about any other individual citizen's patriotism or lack thereof -- even Oscar-winning filmmakers -- doesn't much matter. It's a free country, after all... so there's little reason to get verbose on that. (Lawdy, someone call the Blog Police, I think I just broke a cardinal rule.)

It's what I feel about the State and patriotism that gets the ball rolling.

Since September 11, our elected officials and their minions and yes-men have used the specter of anti-Americanism to browbeat those who would question their choices. This is practically the definition of argumentum ad hominem, the logical fallacy of attacking one's character instead of their actual position.

(I don't mean to imply that ad hominem attacks are a tool used solely by the right -- but when it comes to impugning an American's patriotism in particular, Bush supporters are re-writing the Official Field Guide on a near-daily basis.

That's not a jab tossed off by another leftie, either; it's simply the psychology of ideology. Mom, apple pie, and not questioning authority are the "brands" of conservatism.)

The strategies of this new McCarthyism often defy all logic -- and yet appeal to the citizen who can be distracted by waving flags and sleight of hand. And it isn't even always just to redirect criticism of the current administration; the clouds of anti-American accusation are being appropriated for any and all conservative causes. Witness this bit from right-winging poster boy Stephen Silbiger in the National Review (emphasis mine):
"The AFL-CIO website has for years been linked to the most vile anti-American websites. When we launched our war on al Qaeda in Afghanistan, it took only a few clicks to get from the AFL-CIO homepage to articles by Noam Chomsky alleging that we are in Afghanistan to commit genocide. As the Congress debated the resolution on Iraq, it took only a few clicks to get from the AFL-CIO homepage to articles on how the U.S. is blocking the return of arms inspectors to Iraq and how 'massive' demonstrations against George Bush are taking place around the world.

"I cite all this to make it clear that the American labor movement has been taken over by those who hate America so much that they would not allow it to defend itself against its enemies."


By Mr. Silbiger's rationale (which openly ignores how the Web works, which plays right to the non-wired American), the Iron Blogger Republican herself has been taken over by those who hate the Republican Party so much that they would run it out of D.C. on a rail... since it only took me two -- not even "a few" -- clicks to get here from her website. (to Poliblogger, then to a Google ad, if anyone cares)

But, so what if the AFL-CIO website linked directly to a story about global demonstrations against the President? Have the founding principles of the United States been so cowed, dismantled to the point that no one is allowed to say aloud that an elected official might be unpopular? America was borne of dissent. The freedom we so garishly flaunt includes the right to question our leaders.

[The third part of my position is that looking askance at our leaders and their actions is not unpatriotic, and in fact is closer to the patriotism that the founding fathers hoped to sow than any other behavior.]

Further, when the authority being questioned is an elected or appointed official who serves as an employee of the people of the United States of America, he or she does not have the right to keep the curtain closed when we try to draw it back. Scott McClellan may answer directly to President Bush... but the President answers directly to We The People, and therefore at the highest levels we have a right to ask questions without bracing to have our own character attacked or our motives maligned in a punitive turn.

By the definition of the word, there cannot be one indisputable example of an American patriot... but if there is a pure example of anti-Americanism, it's when elected officials cry "unpatriotic!" at the very voters that awarded them their jobs, and merely want to discern whether those jobs are being done satisfactorily. The line between dissent and destructiveness is drawn when those in power abuse their position to make ad hominem accusations toward their constituents and detractors.

[The fourth and final part of my position is that the only incontrovertible display of anti-Americanism is when representatives of the State challenge the "patriotism" of a dissenting citizen.]

To question why we are at war in Iraq, and whether we were sold a pig in a poke by the Bush administration to get there, is not unpatriotic. One thing George McGovern nailed in one was his statement that "[t]he highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher standard."

Americans are now calling. Our leaders don't get to ignore -- not by silence, media oppression, obfuscation or insults.

I feel that the Iron Blogger Republican is a true patriot, an American who loves her country and is devoted to its well-being. I look forward to her Opening Argument, as we exchange ideas in the most patriotic of venues. And if she wants to mud-wrestle in flag bikinis to a Lee Greenwood soundtrack, I'll do that too.

Best,

PG

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Sunday, July 04, 2004

Seventh Battle

With new Lefty Judges and Challengers to balance the Right, we are ready once more to do ideological battle. This week's Challenger is well known here at Iron Blog - a Judge of three of our first six battles who has gone against party lines in at least one verdict, this person is widely respected by both sides here at Iron Blog for having an honest and open mind. Our Challenger this week, and our first female Challenger at Iron Blog, is Pineapple Girl of Politics at Pineapple Girl!

Iron Blogger Republican, Rosemary Esmay, once more you are called to the battlefield. Avenge your previous loss and reclaim your rightful honor as an Iron Blogger!

If memory serves me right, there has been much in the way of name calling and accusations between the two major parties for quite some time, now. Charges, both metaphorical and serious, have been tossed back and forth of Treason, Traitor, and Aiding the Enemy. Michael Moore's movie has sparked this debate once more, and again the battle is joined. How fitting that this Battle should begin on the 4th of July? The Topic for the Battle is this:

Patriotism


What is a Patriot in these times of war and uncertainty? What is treasonous? Traitorous? Where does one draw the line between dissent and destructiveness? Let us see what our combatants have to say.

Allez debate!
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Blitz Battle Winners

Here are the winners of our Blitz Battles - they have been added to the Left and Right as appropriate.

BB Honor - Mustang Bobby
BB Truth - Michael S.
BB Economy - Michael S.
BB Medical Marijuana - Big Dan
BB War on Terror - Weepboy

Congrats to all our Blitz Battle winners!
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Blitz Battle Winners
Chris in NH (BB #2)
Big Dan (BB #6)
Former Challengers
Jimmie Bisse Jr. of The Sundries Shack
Chris of World Inquiry
Dean Esmay of Dean's World
Big Dan of God In The Machine
Owen of Boots and Sabers
Frank LoPinto of Cool Blue Blog
Bryan S of Arguing With Signposts
Ralph Stefan of Ralph's Garage
Former Iron Bloggers
Rosemary Esmay (2-1)


Blogroll
The Agitator
American RealPolitik
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John Cole
The Common Virtue
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Daimnation!
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Gerbera Tetra
Hugh Hewitt
Sebastian Holsclaw
Instapundit
Kaus Files
The Moderate Voice
PhotoDude
Queen of All Evil
Right Wing News
Samizdata.Net
John Scalzi
Donald Sensing
Matt Stinson
Sgt. Stryker
Andrew Sullivan
Tacitus
Transterrestrial Musings
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Vinod
VodkaPundit
Matt Welch
Winds of Change

Archives

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