Tuesday, August 19, 2008


  • Series 2 of The Office UK: seriously vulgar, but the episode with the motivational speech was totally off the hook.
  • Andrew Sullivan pointed out something very provocative about John McCain's experience as a POW in Vietnam: he was never tortured. Read the link, it's pretty short, if you believe there is any controversy there.
  • McCain's flip-flop on the Military Commissions Act, condoning the torture status quo, lost him my vote. There is no place in a sane, civilized world for legalized torture. Period.


Mark said...

Wonder who you'll vote for then? Knowing that Obama clearly supports partial birth abortions, certainly on par with torture.

I'm sure you'll find it in your heart somehow to overlook that little problem.


Dan Lewis said...

Mark, I think there's a big difference between living in a pluralist society that makes compromises on abortion (because face it, not everybody agrees on what to do about it) and living in a police state that makes compromises on torturing prisoners without judicial review.

I think you make an interesting point though, which is that not everyone is committed to American values of the defense of the innocent in quite the same way. Everyone has their pet defenseless group, be it unborn babies, enemy combatants, inner-city schoolchildren, the middle class, what have you. The treatment of that group is paramount, a voting issue. WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN, you made your point, but you also managed to ignore the other ones...

For the record, I wish we were basically doing first-trimester abortions and avoiding the partial-birth abortions altogether. I agree on the need to address the situation.

I don't think Mark has addressed my concern that, like Roman soldiers torturing a defenseless prisoner, John McCain is in favor of continuing to hold the whip. He sponsored anti-torture legislation that he later voted against! And he was a tortured prisoner himself! Do I have any confidence that John McCain can restore the moral compass that has gone sadly astray under the Bush Administration? No.

Dan Lewis said...

And incidentally, "find it in your heart" was pretty low. I have a heart and I happen to like where it is on both the issues we're discussing. Next time, find it in your heart to think for two seconds about what I actually said, not what I should have said.

Mark said...

First of all, how I even found this blog: Your basic followed links from a friend, followed those links and etc, somehow ended up here a while back and again recently.

Didn't mean to hit quite that hard of a nerve, still not sure why you have reacted so strongly. I didn't make the point I was hoping to make very well, here is what I really meant...

Based upon what I'd read in your blog, it seemed clear, to me at least, that you would never vote for McCain, quite the contrary, I'd expected you to be a rather enthusiastic Obama supporter. So, to read that something caused McCain to lose your vote seemed out of place, given that I never believed he had your vote in the first place. What you wrote seemed more like an excuse to not vote for him versus a reason. In some sense it seemed like you weren't being honest with yourself, when it seems so clear to me that you'd never really vote for McCain anyway.

The point had nothing, in substance, to do with comparing abortion to torture (but not possible to tell from my short comment) and the paradox that seems obvious; given that you embrace abortion, at least to some extent, but have zero tolerance for torture.

If I am mistaken and McCain truly did lose your vote, let me recommend looking to a third party candidate. I haven't voted for a major party Presidential candidate in many elections. There is a profound psychological barrier that causes us to want to vote for a winner, that if more people could overcome, the tight grip of the major two parties could be freed, I can only dream that could ever happen!

Dan Lewis said...

Hi Mark, thanks for coming back. You sparked a blog post in me... thanks for your thoughts, and maybe we can continue the discussion on that post.