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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Sometimes Promises Aren't Worth a Damn

Yesterday I promised to write a post on some Muslim football teams (in Khalifornia) who had named themselves things like Mujahadeen, and the Jihad Warriors. Well apparently their web site has been removed and I cannot do this post the way I had intended. Sorry.

The last several posts have been rather serious. I thought that maybe I could lighten things up a little.

Air America seems to be in quite a bind. It is interesting that the NY Times has just now picked up on the story today and then buried it in a section (below the fold) that few read, and gave it a headline that even dedicated readers would pass over. It also rehashes the exact information that has embroiled the blogosphere for the last two weeks. We should all give thanks to Michelle Malkin and the New York Sun for turning over the rocks to see what crawled from underneath (it was Al Franken).

I certainly hope that this isn't the end of Air America. My parents, who are lifelong Democrats came out to visit last year. I turned them on to the new voices of the Democrat Party. How is this for a quote?, "I don't know what I am, but I sure as hell ain't that". Air America may be the best tool in the Republican arsenal.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read about those guys, the football teams, in one of the links you provided in you 8-10 post. If I were younger and bigger, I'd strap on the pads and take them on.

Sorry I didn't comment on Airhead America, I don't get them where I live.

PS: I like the way you spelled California. I sometimes spell it with a backwards "K".

1:02 PM

Blogger The Plumber said...

Both spellings are appropriate. To be honest with you, I got the spelling from a post on

I'm not very big either, but I'm young enough to take these jackasses on. I'd prefer that they simply be removed from society by the people we hire to keep us safe. Their time is coming, have no fear.

With regard to Air America, no apology is necessary. Consider yourself lucky.

1:11 PM

Blogger ctindel said...

Definitely. A nation has a right to purge itself of undesirables. (Sarcasm intended)

1:22 PM

Blogger The Plumber said...


No. I think people who want to kill me should be free to roam wherever they want. (sarcasm intended)

3:29 PM

Blogger ctindel said...

Oh, you've had a lot of problems with muslims shooting bullets at you, have you? I don't much care if people say I should die, as long as they aren't actually trying to kill me.

3:56 PM

Blogger The Plumber said...

I take it you don't feel that Islam is a threat. Thank goodness other people do. I hope that the situation never comes that you consider them a threat to your life. In fact, I pray that that day never comes (which is hard for me considering I have been an agnostic for over twenty-five years).

4:46 PM

Blogger ctindel said...

I'm afraid of the ones that actually want to kill me, but not all of them. I know plenty of muslims that don't want to kill me, and we get along just fine. I may not ever get to travel to the middle east during my lifetime, but sure as hell don't cry myself to sleep at night over that one.

5:08 PM

Blogger The Plumber said...

I went to school with many Muslim students. I never bothered to ask them if they considered me an infidel because of my lack of religiosity or what should happen to me because of it.

I have yet to hear one "moderate" Muslim renounce jihad. I have yet to hear one "moderate" Muslim state that Israel has a right to exist. When so-called "moderate" Muslims claim sorrow for the lose of innocent life, I don't know if they are speaking of all of the lives, Jews, Christians or otherwise, that have been lost, or just the other Muslims who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Ask your Muslim friends if they personally renounce jihad, if Israel has a right to exist, and if they consider non-Muslims infidels.

8:19 PM

Blogger ctindel said...

I have heard many muslims denounce jihad, saying that the Quran preaches peace. Many muslims denounced the actions of 9/11. Islamic fundamentalists are a minutely small portion of the faith, just as Christian fundamentalists are a small portion of christianity. It's just that they're so extreme they get all the airtime and news.

As for Israel, well, I don't even believe it has a right to exist. Is there some moral code that gives a state the right to exist without being overthrown?

11:20 PM

Blogger The Plumber said...

I don't think that they are a "minutely" small number. Can you give me a link? I am more apt to believe that the number of Muslims who denounce jihad are minutely small. Have you thoroughly viewed

Do you think that Jews should live in greater Palastine? Maybe the Palastinians will invite them over for tea and they will sit around and sing Kumbaya.

Do you think that the Jews have a "right to try to keep themselves alive"?

10:10 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'll call myself Anonymous 2. I hate to break up your (off topic)discussion, but I'm going to comment on Air America.

I saw your earlier post regarding Bush being the source of all liberal happiness. I turned on Air America and they were outta-their-seats gleeful regarding that fundraiser for Tom Delay being indicted and that woman who is standing outside Bush's ranch.

These people are wacky. Your posts are right on. Keep up the good work!

7:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon2 here again,

just went to ctindel's blog. i guess if a fellow lives in a small, relatively remote town like ft collins, he probably won't be affected directly by terrorism.

party on dude!

7:27 PM

Blogger ctindel said...


"Minutely" small may have been a bit overkill. Here is a link:

It says fundamentalists make up around 10%. Certainly not a majority or even a large minority.

I think jews should live whereever they can, but the whole idea of world super-powers guaranteeing them a holy-land is crazy, in my opinion.

Everybody has a right to try to keep themselves alive. But nobody has an absolute right to any particular spot of land.

12:14 AM

Blogger ctindel said...


I'm not really sure what you mean; I just moved here from San Francisco, and a large portion of my friends live either there or New York City. My life would definitely be affected by terrorist attacks there.

I always found it funny when they would do those polls, and people in remote mid-western towns were more worried about terrorist attacks than people in big cities, even though the chance of them getting hit is (relatively) small. Why do you think the less likely targets are more worried about the problem?

12:18 AM

Blogger The Plumber said...

I'm going to try putting a link into the comments section for the first time. Bear with me, I've only owned a computer for a few months so if it doesn't work, I'll try, try again.


10 percent of Muslims want to kill me huh? Well, let's assume your right. The U.S. has 1.5 million Muslims as of 2000. If only 10 percent want me dead because I'm not Muslim, that means that 150,000 people in this country want me dead.

Boy, I feel safer already.

I suppose the issue of people having a right to life is one we will have to agree to disagree. I believe that all humans should be able to be secure in their bodies and homes. That is, free from coercion or the threat of coercion, be it from another individual or government. If we all believed this, we'd not even be having this discussion, como no?

Before you bring it up, yes, I recognize that coercion from government is necessary for the protection of private property.

8:52 AM

Blogger The Plumber said...

Anonymous 2

Thanks for the visit and the kind words.

FYI, Jack Abramhoff is the Republican lobbyist who was arrested.

The woman whose son was killed in Iraq is Cindy Sheehan.

I've heard that the worst pain in the world is when a parent loses a child. My heart goes out to this poor woman. It seems to me that given the media coverage of her, others would rather use her as a political tool. They are assholes.

9:41 AM

Blogger ctindel said...


Your (fallacious) assumption is that muslim fundamentalists are distributed evenly geographically. I take it by the lack of suicide bombers in the united states that most of them live elsewhere, and there are far fewer than 150,000 people here that really want you to die.

I don't know that we have such a right to the freedoms you mention, although securing such freedoms is the reason we form governments.

7:24 PM

Blogger The Plumber said...


I'll grant you that. Let's cut the number in half. Or by 75%, or by 90%. Feel better? I know I'll sleep much better knowing that only 5,000 (or even 1,000) people want me dead.

Do we have any rights, besides of course "the right to try to stay alive" according to you? Oh, and your coveted First Amendment?

You'll notice that I did not say that these were rights, just the way it ought to be. Again, we will have to agree to disagree.

11:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

San Fransico huh?

that explains everything


8:03 AM

Blogger ctindel said...


Don't you think if there were 1,000 people devoted to killing non-muslims that there would be way more suicide bombing happening in the United States? I mean, it happens almost every day in Iraq, and yet we haven't had an event since 2001.

Is your question about rights related to Natural Rights, or legal rights? We've given up our natural right (to try to stay live) in order to gain all manner of legal rights (speech, property, etc...) under the assumption that the government will help us stay alive (providing food, water, etc).

12:50 PM

Blogger The Plumber said...

RE: Question 1

I agree with your point. I don't know why we haven't had another attack. I can come up with possible reasons but they'd only be guesses. I can tell you that within two weeks of this guy making the talk show circuit, the feds cracked down on MS13 and other gang members. This action came despite the FBI denying Al Qaeda links.

RE: Question 2

I don't think the two are separable. I guess that where our conflict arises.

I also don't think that it is the responsibility of the government to provide nourishment. I think the sole responsibility of a government is the protection of private property. In particular (I know this is Hobbesian), to prevent violent death.

3:47 PM

Blogger ctindel said...

OK, let me see if I understand what you're saying. What do you mean by "natural rights and legal rights are unseparable"?

Does that mean they are equivalent? Or just related somehow? How are they related?

If they are related, does that mean that natural rights can change when the laws change? Since laws are not absolute, what effect does that have on the absoluteness of natural rights?

What is your definition of "natural rights"?

3:52 PM

Blogger The Plumber said...

I like the way Samuel Adams said it.

I guess that the words "separable" and "unseparable" are inadequate. In fact, they are completely wrong. Sorry about the confusion.

There are no such things as "legal" rights. This implies that there are rights that can be conferred upon man by a government. If viewed conversely, these rights wouldn't exist if their were no government to impart them.

The government cannot bestow what it does not possess. The only thing that a government posesses is the ability to coerce compliance. It cannot give you what you already have. Rousseau's quote is particularly apt: "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains". IOW, I'm free because I exist, the chains are courtesy of government.

9:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the way you put that.

-I guess I'll be Anon1

10:51 PM

Blogger ctindel said...

You still didn't answer my question of how you define Natural Rights. I know you're agnostic, so you can't say "they're the God-given rights". :)

So you think some government coercion is good, and yet other government coercion is bad. How do you reconcile this with your belief in every human's right to be "free from coercion or the threat of coercion, be it from another individual or government"? Assuming you can do that...

How do you prove that the current form of government coercion is correct (or any form of coercion, for that matter)? Obviously it is different from the form of government coercion of 100 years ago because our laws have changed. If we believe that it was incorrect in the past (why else would we have changed it?) then wouldn't it be extreme arrogance to believe that right NOW it is correct?

11:28 PM

Blogger The Plumber said...

Although I'm agnostic, I'm a deist. I have no problem saying that they (rights) are God-given.

Natural rights are the ones that exist if we were, for example, animals in the jungle. The liberties enjoyed by such animals are far too numerous and all-encompassing to list. Hopefully this isn't what you were expecting.

The only intentional injury that could come to an individual in this state of nature would come from another animal. This is the primary reason for government. It is to try keep humans from being intentionally injured by other humans. I am therefore coerced to pay, through taxes, for a system of justice to hold those accountable who cause intentional injury. I am coerced by the threat of this justice system, for example, to obey traffic signals.

All coercion is bad. But there are bad humans who will coerce (rape, robbery, assault, murder, etc.). It is the responsibility of a government to prevent these injuries or to hold accountable those who would commit them. If there were no coercion by individuals, there would be no need for government.

The form of government we have now and a hundred years ago, I believe, is the correct one. The problem we had with it was the selective application of the Constitution.

Laws are another matter. To be legitimate, laws must affect everbody equally. Although I think a direct tax on income amounts to state-sponsered slavery, I'll use it for an example. The tax structure is illegitimate because some people pay a higher rate than others. Some people not only pay no income tax, but also get back an "earned income tax credit". The income tax does not affect everybody equally and is therefore illegitmate.

I can come up with many examples like this but I must go to work. Hopefully this helps.

8:17 AM

Blogger ctindel said...

Would you say that it is the right of such animals to kill each other over required resources (food, water, etc)? We certainly see this in other kinds of animals, and there have been wars and fighting amongst humans for as far back as we know. Our government goes to war for oil to make sure we can sustain life as we know it. That's us, fighting and killing to try to stay alive, because we need oil so that food deliveries can continue.

10:30 PM

Blogger The Plumber said...

Some animals are food, but in general they don't kill or fight each other unless there is a violation of territory. Again, I think that humans are generally good, not evil. I don't think that humans, in a state of nature, have a right to kill each other, nor do I think they want to. It would be awfully hard to develop a society if humans were mired in a war of "all against all". Let us not forget the impact that the fear of the Spanish Armada had on Hobbes' mother. This had a tremendous impact on Hobbes and his writing.

Individual humans do not go to war. That is the sole domain of governments. I don't think that we (the U.S.) have ever gone to war simply to ensure a steady flow of oil to our country. Does it play a part in our last two Middle East campaigns? Probably. However, most of our oil resources come from Canada. Even more will in the future.

8:57 AM

Blogger ctindel said...

Who said anything about them wanting to kill each other? It's just what they need to do to stay alive. If the choice is "kill you or die myself", I'd probably kill you. Nothing personal, you understand.

Heck, sometimes animals fight just for the right to mate with the female! If that isn't a direct example of survival of the fittest, I don't know what is.

Many revolutions and rebellions are just humans going to war with their own government. Would you say that our fighting in Iraq is us against some other government? If it were, it would be much easier to end because we could just destroy that particular government. Clear this is just some individuals waging war.

I agree that (most) humans would rather not kill each other, if we can stay alive without killing each other. We both agree on this, and the fact that governments exist to keep us from killing each other.

You justify it through some incomplete theory of some coercions being bad and some being OK, under some lofty ideal of "everybody being equal and us all having a right to live".

I think it is just that we decided that by coming together, we can create an infrastructure for life-supporting mechanisms (food, water, and the transportion to distribute them, etc) so that we wouldn't have to kill each other to get them. If this infrastructure fell apart, there would be out-and-out war between individuals until we could re-group.

11:05 AM

Blogger The Plumber said...

Re: Iraq.

It was, till we won.

All coercion is bad. None is "OK".

You have confused society with government.

11:36 AM

Blogger ctindel said...

Wait a minute... you conceded earlier that coercion by government was necessary for protection of private property. I assumed from previous posts that you liked the protection of private property. Now you say all coercion is bad, ergo, protection of life and private property is bad?

2:44 PM

Blogger The Plumber said...

Good Lord!

I'll tell you, I won't tell you what.

I will type this slowly so that you can understand. Are you ready?

If there were no coercion by bad people, there would be no need for government. Because there is coercion by bad people, we need government. I prefer the former because all coercion is bad. It is that simple.

Why do you think the Founders considered government a "necessary evil"? Please think about BOTH words before you answer.

What are you trying to catch me on?

4:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...



great debate though.

8:23 PM

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7:16 PM


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