America is turning into a monarchy

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  • Mitch
    May 30, 2008 8:33 p.m.

    I didntvoteforthem - Bush's election was not legal in what respect? the official count (and third effort) showed Bush won by a wider margin. The supreme court ruled in his favor with a majority liberal supreme court. Pray tell how the election was not an election. I guess if you believe the lying media it makes sense to you.

  • Mitch
    May 30, 2008 8:29 p.m.

    Shinkoskey has it mostly right. He made the error that Bush is the only one at fault. Congress authorized Bush to go to war. They failed in their constitutional duty as it is this body that has to declare war. The president cannot.

    We are at fault for not expressing our absolute outrage at our "representatives".

  • Anonymous
    May 30, 2008 8:27 p.m.

    Mike Richards tells us about our gradual moral decline.
    I don't know about him but my life is nowhere near this declined state that he is obviously living in.
    When you live a happy, non-judgemental, and non-sanctimonious life life is great!
    I feel for these sad, paranoid, and negative conservatives that seem to be so prevalent in our world today. The know not what they do.

  • Mike Richards
    May 30, 2008 7:15 p.m.

    Mr. Shinkoskey,

    Well done and well said.

    Our gradual, but constant moral decline has left its imprint on our nation. I fear that we've become a nation of unthinking, uncaring, "fun" craving "children" who don't know how to think, who don't know how to work, and who want someone else to solve all their problems. The words, "Eat, drink and be merry ... ", keep coming to mind, over and over and over again.

  • Anonymous
    May 30, 2008 6:26 p.m.

    Thomas -

    The words of the New Testament's Jesus Christ are not filled with metaphor or symbolism when it comes to war, killing, and shock-and-aweing civilians.

    I don't know what they taught YOU in Sunday School, but to us mainstream Christians, the message is crystal-clear.

    I'm afraid your conscience has been tainted with political partisan BS.

  • Anonymous
    May 30, 2008 6:04 p.m.

    Thomas wants us to believe the word liberal has not been demonized by them.

    Thomas must also know where the WMD's are hiding.

  • Thomas
    May 30, 2008 6:03 p.m.


    What part of Christ's teachings don't I understand? Quite a bit, actually -- they're far more profound than a mocker like you could appreciate. I do understand -- as have generations of theologians far wiser than either of us -- that while Christ proclaimed peace, He certainly wasn't a "pacifist" in the modern, let-the-aggressor-win sense.

    By the way, "Thou Shalt Not Kill" is from the Old Testament you profess to despise. And it's followed a couple of verses later by commands to impose the death penalty for a variety of offenses, so I think you might want to consider whether you're being a bit simplistic in your analysis.

    Pop quiz: Where in the Bible is there an express command for Christians to "beat their swords into plowshares"?

  • Thomas
    May 30, 2008 5:59 p.m.

    Anon, how is it that conservatives have supposedly "demonized" the word "liberal"?

    You can't give a word negative connotations in a vacuum. No matter how good you apparently think we AWFUL NEOCONS (speaking of "demonizing") are at manipulation (what we call "logic"), we couldn't give "liberal" a bad name if actual liberals didn't do the job for us. The reason liberals (including the presumptive Democratic nominee) are so anxious to run away from the label "liberal," instead of wearing it proudly like conservatives wear their name, is that the gap between the (positive) connotations of the dictionary definition of "liberal" and the reality of what post-Kennedy-assassination American liberals have become is just too glaring to ignore.

    You've abandoned the concept of equality before the law in favor of race-conscious ethnic tribal politics. You've abandoned the classical liberal Jeffersonian concept of limited government in favor of European-style statism. You've abandoned economic liberalism in favor of unwieldy command-and-control economics. You've abandoned open-minded free inquiry in favor of a sneering dogmatism, speech codes, and political correctness. You've gone from respecting the little guy to declaring him a stupid dupe of false consciousness. Bottom line, you just aren't truly liberal.

  • Anonymous
    May 30, 2008 4:32 p.m.

    Thomas -
    What is about Christ's teachings that you don't understand?

    A quick review:

    Thou Shalt Not Kill
    Put away your swords
    Love your enemies
    Turn the other cheek
    Beat your swords into ploughshares
    Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.

  • Anonymous
    May 30, 2008 4:26 p.m.

    "... basically pacifist approach."
    You are a never-ending source of entertaiment Thomas!

  • Anonymous
    May 30, 2008 4:17 p.m.

    Thomas tells us about criminalizing political differences.
    Does that include the incessant demonization of a perfectly good word liberal by our Republican brothers and sisters for political reasons?

  • Thomas
    May 30, 2008 4:11 p.m.

    "Education" -- With respect, it's not any such thing.

    The New Testament mandates that *individuals* have a basically pacifist approach. However, what little counsel the New Testament gives to civil authorities definitely does not include a command that they, also, are commanded to abstain from using force. "The magistrate beareth not the sword in vain."

    It was not a sin for Churchill to decline Gandhi's advice to let the Germans win in World War II. (Gandhi also advised the Jews to allow the Germans to kill as many of them as they wanted, trusting in the Nazis' compassion to make them ultimately stop. A decent guy, Gandhi was, but ultimately a bit naive.)

  • Thomas
    May 30, 2008 3:53 p.m.

    Willie -- This lust to criminalize political differences and throw one's opponents in jail is what kills republics. Happened to Athens, happened to Rome, and if you guys have your way, it'll happen here.

  • education
    May 30, 2008 3:44 p.m.

    The New Testament is quite clear on pacifism.
    But with warmongering hawks that come into power every now and then, the words of Christ are thrown out the window. It's always an economic thing. Always.

    It takes a revamped educational program to return to the words of Christ. This will never happen on a website. It's starts with the young.

    Perhaps the antiquated, "...rockets red glare, bombs bursting in air" might be reevaluated.

  • One trumps the other
    May 30, 2008 3:32 p.m.

    Old Testament (Yahweh)- "an eye for an eye."
    New Testament (Jesus) - "love your enemies."

    Sorry Thomas, I'm always on the side of progress.

  • Thomas
    May 30, 2008 3:23 p.m.

    "Hanging on" -- Sir, you're entitled to whatever personal theology you want to dream up for yourself, but the fact is that virtually everybody who accepts the authority of the Bible recognizes that the God of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ are the same God. Traditional Trinitarians say they're the same Being, while Mormons believe the God of the Old Testament *was* Jesus.

    Again, you're entitled to take whatever away from the Bible you want, just realize that you're not going to convince many people with an argument from scripture when you're so out of your depth as regards actual familiarity with it.

    If we're just limiting ourselves to the New Testament, that book also declares that the civil authorities "bear not the sword in vain." The civil authorities are expressly permitted to use force, if necessary, to fulfill their responsibilities.

    If you are taking the pacifist position that war is never justified, then am I correct in presuming you opposed the war in Afghanistan, along with Bill Clinton's wars in Yugoslavia? Can't have it both ways, you know. The scripture doesn't say "Put away your swords, unless you're a Democrat," after all.

  • Willie
    May 30, 2008 2:38 p.m.

    Our Republican Kings, Nixon, Reagan, and especially Bush II, have committed more illegal acts than we can imagine. All have lied to congress and the American people about it. All have tried to usurp our rights, with Bush II being the worst.

    Bush II believes that he doesn't have to answer to anyone, that he can use executive powers to cover up his illegal acts. He refuses to honor judges, subpoenas, or questions from congress.

    Once Bush is out of office, I hope the investigations begin, the subpoenas go out, and the trials begin. Let's see if he is so brave when faced with jail time if he refuses to cooperate.

    All hail King George the Bush.

  • OOPS!
    May 30, 2008 2:31 p.m.


  • Earl
    May 30, 2008 2:05 p.m.

    I understand your argument, Thomas. We disagree on how compliant the Supreme Court has been with the wishes of administrations, and that could be argued at book-length. I think maybe you're parsing just a little too much about major wars, though. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars are not anywhere in the same league with the expedition against the Barbary pirates that didn't result in an extended invasion and occupation for several years. I know I don't have the current interpretation on my side about the legality of the AUMF, I just disagree with it. It's much too easy for the president to start a major war, and I think that's the very thing the founders wanted to avoid. Giving the president the AUMF is wimping out, in my own humble opinion. Congress is too cowardly to step up and take the responsibility for declaring war when troops are engaged for extended periods of time in a major way.

  • Anti Neocon
    May 30, 2008 2:02 p.m.

    Hey, all you neo-con detractors WHEN are you finally wake up from your "obey and follow-the-leader" mantra and see what's REALLY going on in America? Your are writing the same old mush and baloney we are hearing from the "dear leader in DC!"

  • hanging on to the Old Testament
    May 30, 2008 1:55 p.m.

    Thomas, the Holy Bible expert, in his in-your-face allegiance to his hawkish political party, conveniently forgets the King of Kings, aka Jesus Christ (from the New Testament) who is the ultimate pacifist, trumps the OLD Testament God with:

    Thou Shalt Not Kill
    Put away your swords
    Love your enemies
    Turn the other cheek
    Beat your swords into ploughshares
    Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.

    Sorry, Thomas.
    I prefer the NEW Testament King of Kings

  • Earl
    May 30, 2008 1:42 p.m.

    Thomas, that's my point. Those founders didn't engage in major wars. I'm talking about wars in which we engage for several years at a time, which result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and the displacement of millions, and cost hundreds of millions of dollars (adjusted for inflation, of course). I really believe that's what they were talking about, not the comparatively little international disagreements engaged in by the founders.

  • Wrong choices
    May 30, 2008 1:29 p.m.

    I am afraid our neocons have made the drastic mistake of putting their political party before the words of Jesus Christ - The Ultimate Pacifist.
    This is somewhat understandable due to the wave of patriotism that occured just after 9/11 -
    but to "stay the course" after all that we know now (including a nearly bankrupted nation) is - nuts!

  • Thomas
    May 30, 2008 1:17 p.m.

    "Holy book," you smart (animal similar to a horse), keep in mind that the same God who said those things had absolutely no problem opening several cans of major-league whupp-(same animal) all over various Canaanite tribes.

    The God of Israel was absolutely, positively no lily-livered peacenik.

    I never got to ask you, amigo -- what's your opinion of the war in Afghanistan? Justified or not?

  • Thomas
    May 30, 2008 12:40 p.m.

    Earl -- If the Supreme Court just rubber-stamps executive-branch decisions, why does it so often rule against the executive branch?

    The distinction between "minor engagements" and "all-out wars" is subject to debate. I wouldn't put Korea, Vietnam, the Yugoslavian campaigns, the two Iraq wars and Afghanistan in the same league as an "all-out war" like World War II. In fact, a greater percentage of America's military (i.e. pretty much all of it) was sent to fight the Barbary Pirates than has been deployed to Iraq.

    In any event, the war in Iraq was based on an express Congressional authorization to use military force. There's nothing in the Constitution that says Congress's authorization of war has to use the actual words "We declare war." The AUMF more than satisfies the Constitution's requirements.

  • Thomas
    May 30, 2008 12:23 p.m.

    Peperlake obviously watches "RedEye" on Fox, with the classic line "And if you disagree, then you, Sir, are worse than Hitler."

    Earl -- Isn't your argument that the Founding Fathers intended that war should be waged only pursuant to a formal declaration of war suffer a bit from the fact that two of the big-league Founders -- Adams and Jefferson -- both authorized undeclared wars?

  • speaking of the holy book...
    May 30, 2008 12:19 p.m.

    Thomas loves to talk about the Bible.

    Speaking of monarchy, here's from the King of Kings:

    Thou Shalt Not Kill
    Put away your swords
    Love your enemies
    Turn the other cheek
    Beat your swords into ploughshares
    Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.

    Unfortunately, our neocon friends would label the author of these words "a liberal peacenik."

  • Earl
    May 30, 2008 12:18 p.m.

    Thomas, bringing up minor engagements is a far cry from all-out wars like Korea, Vietnam and Iraq, don't you think? I don't think anyone is quibbling about the small stuff. There's a big difference between a skirmish and total war in which millions are killed. As for the Supreme Court putting their stamp of approval on executive decisions, when has that become a real test. Their stamp is nothing more than rubber.

  • Ayn R. Key
    May 30, 2008 12:12 p.m.

    One might be better off under a monarch who owns the state's assets than democratically-elected administrations incentivized to use political power to waste and loot the state they rent and the nation they rule for four-year terms, but no more than eight.

    See Hans-Hermann Hoppe's "Democracy: The God That Failed" for further explanation.

  • michaelh
    May 30, 2008 12:11 p.m.

    We conservatives agree the president has taken the country in the wrong direction.
    He has taken it to the left! It is insane that McCain is a republican presidential nominee! He is the most left wing radical RINO in the party, a butt of all our jokes but it is no longer funny. The republican party must repeat the mantra TO THE RIGHT TO THE RIGHT TO THE RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT!!! Till these morons in Washington get the message. If not we will rebuild from the ashes of what was America before Obama gave a group hug to our enemies and then defected.

  • peperlake
    May 30, 2008 12:09 p.m.

    bush is a criminal. and everyone that voted for him is too. anyone who did not pay attention enough to see that is responsible. I remember telling everyone I knew in 1999 to be ware of that man. It was obvious to me that he never had any intention of representing anyone but himself and his oil companies. I told people that he was going to find a reason to attack Iraq. I only have a high school education but I was smart enough to recognize Cheney and Rumsfeld as a continuation of executive power that was responsible for the lies that America was told about vietnam! was I the only one who paid attention in American history in high school? at this point even if you consider yourself to be a conservative republican you must admit that Bush has distorted what that means to the very core. if you haven't acknowledged that you might as well be a fan of Hitler!

  • Thomas
    May 30, 2008 12:01 p.m.

    "What's up with them" -- It's because we disagree with you. As citizens in a democratic republic tend to do. And because we believe that for all our representatives' faults, your side is likely to be worse -- starting with its promises to repeat Herbert Hoover's disastrous response to the 1929 recession (protectionism and tax hikes), which turned that recession into the Great Depression.

    Also, because we believe that when so much of a person's argument consists of mockery and so little of substance, he hasn't thought things through.

    Re: the letter, it's been awhile since I slogged through the Old Testament, but danged if I can remember reading about the ancient Israelite prophets spending much time quibbling about education budgets.

    And if engaging the armed forces in military conflicts means the President has become a "king," then America has been a monarchy since the John Adams administration. (Read up on the naval war with France in 1798.) Or the immediately-following Jefferson administration (the wars against the Barbary pirate-jihadists). The vast majority of American military conflicts have been waged without a formal declaration of war, and repeated Supreme Court cases have upheld the practice.

  • What's up with them?
    May 30, 2008 11:38 a.m.

    Why do our neocon brothers and sisters have such an agonizingly difficult time accepting the fact that their party at large has taken this country in the wrong direction?

  • Mark B
    May 30, 2008 11:26 a.m.

    I can't agree that Israel in the time of Judges was a republic. It was more like a loose confederation of tribes who found it useful to unite when faced with a common threat. The book of Judges even hints that it was a poor system at the book's conclusion.

    But having said that, I think the writer is correct in directing our attention away from frivolous matters to serious ones. Power vacuums don't last long, and the executive branch has rushed in to fill them all too quickly. Reining it in will be a tough, but necessary task.

  • Earl
    May 30, 2008 11:23 a.m.

    We can argue over the war-making power and its legality, but while many things may be legal, that doesn't make them moral. If you've taken the time to understand the intent of the Founding Fathers regarding war-making powers, you'd know the much effort and time was taken to make sure the president would never have the ability to make war. They railed against monarchies specifically because monarchs can go to war whenever they wish, without the consent of the people or their representatives. The spirit of the Constitution is to limit the power of the executive to take us to war. If anyone is to blame in giving the president so much latitude in involving us in military conflicts without a declaration of war, it is the congress. The U.S. congress has become a rubber-stamping, grandstanding arena that has been self-emasculated. Only they themselves can restore the congressional duty of declaring war and prohibiting the president from engaging in military adventures. The Supreme Court is not going to help them, they're another rubber-stamp branch. We just seem to keep electing weak-kneed representatives who cower at the demands of the presidency.

  • Joe Moe
    May 30, 2008 9:36 a.m.

    @Mike R. 9:02.

    I disagree (rare...I usually agree with you). It cites recent "presidents." And the executive branch IS much more powerful today than it was in, say, George Washington's time. It is true that many of the founders favored a strong executive; but most did not, and the constitution was framed with enumerated powers, checks, and balances that arguably favor the legislature. Now, Congress has lost power to the other two branches.

    I believe, and this just occurred to me, so feel free to comment, that Congress can only blame itself for it's weakened state. Namely, the filibuster rule in the Senate constricts their power to much. And they do it voluntarily! As I understand it, the filibuster rule is the Senate's own procedural process, NOT based on any constitutional provision. And this one rule is probably the biggest factor in the gridlock mess we call a Congress.

    In one fell swoop, we could perhaps drastically improve and empower our Congress by eliminating the filibuster rule and putting in term limits (I can be generous, maybe as much as three terms in the Senate, five in the House).

  • How we love royalty
    May 30, 2008 9:24 a.m.

    Not only is it becoming a monarchy, but we have our own royalty, as well. Kennedys, Rockefellers, Bushes - and even in Utah - Romneys, Leavitts, Cannons and Huntsmans. People born with platinum spoons in their mouths who have no concept of what the "common man" deals with on a day-to-day basis. If fact, if it's "common," they want nothing to do with it. They flaunt their superiority - they are above the law - and if not, they change the law to be sure that they are. They buy power. With that power, they manipulate what needs to be manipulated to get more money, with which they buy more power. Next time you get mad at the cost to fill up your vehicle, just remember - these prices are brought to you by GW and Chenney - and don't kid yourself into thinking they aren't they making a sweet penny off the skyrocketing fuel prices. But, then, when is the last time you or anyone ever saw Mitt filling up his Mercedes at the local Tesoro station?

  • Mike R.
    May 30, 2008 9:02 a.m.

    Another typically liberal anti-Bush diatribe, with attending historical inaccuracies.

  • conservative craziness
    May 30, 2008 8:35 a.m.

    Why the modern American conservative movement would embrace the master/slave ideology is beyond me.
    It is the way the country was founded however.
    But, it's good to be the King.
    Are you a King?

  • John
    May 30, 2008 8:16 a.m.

    :The Declaration of Independence:

    "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

    Fifty plus years of abuses and usurpations producing the same object, is enough to invoke this marvelously turned phrase, and make it a reality again.

    Let the revolution begin.

  • lamonte
    May 30, 2008 7:40 a.m.

    Libertarian, Steve and Chad - can you guys get your stories straight. Is this a pro-liberal or anti-liberal post. Don't you guys get a monthly newsletter with all the conservative mantras attached. Come on. I lttle coordination is necessary for us to be able to identify the liberal messages from the conservitive ones.

  • I didn't vote for them
    May 30, 2008 6:37 a.m.

    This might explain how the monstrous administration we have in power today got elected (if you want to call that last debacle an "election")
    But real American is finally waking up.

  • Roland Kayser
    May 30, 2008 6:32 a.m.

    We can be an empire or we can be a republic, we can't be both. America has over 800 military bases and facilities around the world. That sounds more like an empire to me.

  • Chad
    May 30, 2008 6:12 a.m.

    The letter writer lost all credibility when he noted that the president declared war without consent of congress. This is a bald-faced lie. Congress and the senate both voted in favor of military action in Iraq, and indeed war was never declared in Iraq nor Afghanistan. This has precedent in other military action we have taken including Korea and Mr. Hillary Clinton's bombing runs in Serbia, Kosovo, and in attacks in Iraq (yes, Clinton tried to take out WMD factories in Iraq...did we all forget that?).

    Also, he makes it sound like Saul forcibly took power and he implies that is what the president is doing now: forcibly turning our country into a monarchy. Nothing is further from the truth in either area. We have a general election coming up this year, and in ancient Israel, the judges voted to hand over power to Saul.

    At least do 3 minutes of research before spouting off. Try searching wikipedia for declaration of war in america. All of the truth is available in black and white. More liberal panic-rhetoric without substance, just what we all needed, a directionless voice with no ideas, just hot air. An wrong hot air to boot.

  • Steve D
    May 30, 2008 6:07 a.m.

    Liberal diatribe, Libs just love spreading lies.

  • GWB
    May 30, 2008 5:53 a.m.

    Do you mean that an organization that fights to protect our rights, like the ACLU is NOT the biggest threat that our country faces?

    Michael Savage says they are, Jerry Falwell said we were attacked on 9/11 beacause of "the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays..., the ACLU...".

    It appears that at this point in our republic, that there are people who seek to gain power by removal of individual rights speaking out against the very organizations dedicated to preserving those rights. Unfortunately, their attacks have become accepted by those on the political right.

    There was a time when the saying "Give me liberty or give me death" meant something. Now it seems it should be "give me my Idol or I'm going to do something else"

  • lamonte
    May 30, 2008 4:59 a.m.

    Robert - perfect reasoining! Thanks for this frightening but accurate illustration.

  • Libertarian
    May 30, 2008 2:21 a.m.

    Spot on!
    Who can argue this? Im sure some one out there is going to try. Probably a liberal in denial.
    It's time for another revolution!

  • Kip
    May 30, 2008 1:00 a.m.

    Hit the nail on the head!!!!

  • Stephler
    May 30, 2008 12:33 a.m.

    Amen to that!!!