The days of good sportsmanship are over

I was perusing the “site plan” for my kids’ school, a document that spells out what the school’s goals are regarding education and the means by which they put those goals into effect. After deciphering the usual cant and education babble, I learned that our school wants to teach our kids to read, write, do math, learn about their country and save the environment — laudable goals all. The one thing that stood out for me, though, was the little paragraph I quote below.  I’ve edited it somewhat to remove specific identifiers so that the text doesn’t lead right back to our school, but I’ve kept unchanged the money language, which I’ve highlighted:

In keeping with directives from State headquarters, our school’s P.E. program strives to help students to develop a greater appreciation for themselves and for each other. The state’s policy recommends moving away from an emphasis on teaching students to compete, which includes the concept of winner/loser, and moving towards teaching the concept of “every student is a winner”. Students will come to understand that “winning” is dependent upon more than a score in a game.

In other words, our children are not to be taught that, whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.  They are not to be taught how to be a good (as opposed to a sore) loser.  They are not to be taught how to be a gracious (as opposed to an arrogant) winner.  They are not to be taught to strive for success.  All those useful life skills have been removed from the physical ed curriculum.  Instead, “everyone is a winner.”  Well, I’ve got a quote for them:

Helen: Everyone’s special, Dash.
Dash: [muttering] Which is another way of saying no one is.

(Incidentally, I happen to know that the minds that came up with that last quote, good liberals all, have their children in private schools.)

Also, in the context of the school’s language, what in the heck does it mean that “students will come to understand that ‘winning’ is dependent upon more than a score in a game?”  Sure, we all talk about personal bests, and trying hard, and stuff, but winning still means someone is losing — and kids have to learn how to lose.  (And, as I noted above, they also have to learn how to win.)

Fortunately, the kids understand certain things better than the teachers and the administrators.  When you take them out of the anesthetizing blanket that the public schools seek to wrap around them, and put them on after-school soccer fields, basketball courts, or baseball diamonds, they play with ferocity, and a do-or-die need to win.

44 Responses

  1. Also, in the context of the school’s language, what in the heck does it mean that “students will come to understand that ‘winning’ is dependent upon more than a score in a game?” — Bookworm

    Ever see the movie, “An Officer and a Gentleman?” where the female officer candidate can’t make it over the obstacle course wall?

    Richard Gere’s character has a choice – he can run the obstacle course in record time — or turn back and enourage his friend.

    His decision not to win, but to help someone else, is pivotal. And, in the end, he “wins” by adhering to a higher goal and standard.

    Maybe that’s what they mean?

  2. T.S.,
    That is not what they mean; I wish it was. They would oppose that type of victory as well (no obstacles that all participants could not overcome at the very least). My kids will grow up learning how to win and how to lose; we play games right now based on developing skills, but my son is already (at four) eyeing my wargaming miniatures and wanting to know about competition. I cut my teeth on Napoleonic wargaming at the age of nine; watching and learning from the older players (most in their 20s or 30s) taught me how to win well and lose well. I tried, even at that age, to emulate the best winners and the “best” losers. A friend from that time remembers me telling a 20-something that it was just the luck of the dice and one bad turn that made the difference in our game. The friend waited until the sulking adult left and said to me “you didn’t have to be nice, you handed that sore loser his ass on a platter.” I shrugged and said “It could be me next time; I can’t afford to be seen as a temperamental little kid or they won’t let me play in the tournament.” He smiled and took that away. He told me that he used the story for a point for his grandkids last year. It made me smile.
    SGT Dave
    “Fair means all my people come home safe.”

  3. I very much doubt if they mean that at all. It’s all part of the ultimate goal (sorry!) of political correctness to reduce everyone to the lowest common denominator because no one must be seen to be better than anyone else.

    The human race thrives and succeeds because we are all different and that is our greatest strength. OK, it’s disappointing for kids when they lose, but they learn by it and what they lack in one skill they make up for in others.

    Competition, winning and losing are things that all children understand well, and provided no one attempts to ridicule or humiliate those who lose, all will be well.

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  5. This is another in a long line of efforts to beat human characteristics out of our children. It strives for a societal construct of humankind, and seeks to destroy all that is individual.

    I am in charge of our Cub Scout Pack’s Pinewood Derby. Cubs build little race cars and race them down a track. When I took over the duties of running the Derby, I brought back trophies for the winners. Because of the structure of the race, there were 15 trophies, roughly one trophy for every three scouts. Not a bad ratio.

    I immediately had parents clamoring for “Participation” trophies so that no one was a loser. I absolutely refused. After the race, one father came up to me and demanded that the next year, we have “participation” trophies. He said his son was crushed that he had not won a trophy. I told him “no” and asked that he talk to me after the next year’s race. During the next year, he actually tried to get me removed from the Race committee.

    After the following year’s race, I sought him out. He and his son were ecstatic. His son had won first place in his age group and garnered a nice big trophy. I then walked the father through the process that had led to his son’s victory. The amazing thing was, the guy hadn’t recognized the cause and effect. I had to walk him through it before realization dawned on him.

    “Your son was really upset last year, right?”
    “Yeah”
    “So this year he wanted to start working on his car earlier, didn’t he?”
    “Yeah., Lots earlier.”
    “He drove you crazy, didn’t he?”
    “Sure did.”
    “And you spent a lot more time working with him, didn’t you?”
    “Yep.”
    “Now, don’t you think his loss last year motivated both of you to work harder this year?”
    It was then the I saw the light bulb come on over his head. “Yeah, I guess so.”
    “Now, had we given trophies to everyone, don’t you think that would have diminished your son’s accomplishment?”
    “It sure would have.”
    “Do you still think we should give out Participation Trophies?”
    “No.”

    They don’t understand. Self-esteem cannot be granted, it can only be earned. This is why affirmative action, taken too far, is so dangerous to those “helped.” It’s a lie.

  6. You may be mistaken about the people who wrote that line from The Incredibles. I know the Pixar people probably have to maintain their liberal camouflage to keep from becoming unemployable in Hollywood, but their movies include some very conservative messages.

    Bug’s Life: value of work, need to stand up to evil
    Finding Nemo: virtues of courage and self-reliance
    The Incredibles: value of personal achievement
    Cars: sportsmanship; also a love letter to American car culture, and what’s more conservative than that right now?

  7. First off, I’d like to ding Bookworm for some logical errors, most egregiously the non-sequitur that a de-emphasis on winning and losing eliminates training in the social skills related to competition. They’re still playing sports — they’re just not going for the jugular anymore. I would think that an emphasis on how you play the game would be MORE conducive to teaching people how to handle competitive success and failure.

    On a more important point, I might as well play the contrarian here. I think that our hostess and some of my peers here have missed an important historical and cultural development. Let’s start by thinking in terms of “social connectedness”. This is the degree to which people in a culture interact with other people — not just members of their own group but people from other cultures as well. Now, if we examine the cultures of the New Guinea highlands, we see very low social connectedness. The people in one valley have almost zero interaction with anybody else. At the opposite extreme will be citizens in a large cosmopolitan city such as New York, London, or Paris. These people interact with gobs of other people in all sorts of complicated ways. So they have a very high value of social connectedness.

    Next, let’s look at the historical relationship between competitiveness and social connectedness. That relationship is complex, but a general trend is readily observable: overall competitiveness diminishes as social connectedness increases. In the extremes, the phenomenon is easily recognized. The highland tribes of New Guinea were in a state of perpetual low-level warfare until the mid-twentieth century, when they came under the control of the lowland government. By contrast, dwellers of big cities are, in relative terms, extremely cooperative with each other. They have to be — a big city doesn’t work if too many people push and shove to get ahead of each other. Indeed, if you want to take this all the way back to early hominine history, when all hominines were hunter-gatherers, you instantly recognize a strong gender-differentiation: males didn’t need as much social intelligence as females. But civilization imposed constraints on the exercise of the natural male instincts to use violence to resolve disputes. Modern sports are one of the training mechanisms by which we seek to rein in destructive male impulses.

    Now, I realize that this is a broad and vague trend, not an iron rule. I can think of a million exceptions. But I can also think of a billion supporting items. Above all, it makes perfect sense — people crowded together in an ever more crowded and interconnected world face an increasing need for cooperation.

    Indeed, this comes very close to the central problem facing Americans in their relationship with the rest of the world. The American approach is drenched in competitive instincts. You’re either with us or against us. The furious American reaction against 9/11 wasn’t so much about the tragedy as it was about the resentment of having the bad guys score a point against us — which meant that we had to go and score ten points against them.

    Competitiveness has some merits. It also has some problems. But the big idea I’m pushing is that, where-ever the proper balance may lie between competitiveness and cooperation, that balance is steadily shifting away from competitiveness and toward cooperation.

  8. I worry less about self esteem and more about survival skills. What happens when these darling little kiddies are thrown out into the real world to compete? Do they simply fold their cards and go back home to their parents? Unfortunately, from what I see, many of them do.

  9. First off, I’d like to ding Bookworm for some logical errors, most egregiously the non-sequitur that a de-emphasis on winning and losing eliminates training in the social skills related to competition.

    That is because Op believes that winning or losing is a social function that has something to do with both sides winning or both sides losing. Chris White over at Neo-Neocon proved one of my contentions concerning Leftist philosophical beliefs.

    The Left does actually believe, amongst its majority members if not all members, that force does not create any progress. If you must use force, you must temper it with international solidarity, agreements, negotiations, and law. (amongst other things of an international and haggling character)

    Since winning or losing depends almost solely on the social skills required to talk to another person and come out thinking they both won a good deal, this then means that you can de-emphasize winning and still emphasize social skills. Because to the Left, social skills mean cooperation and the end of meaningless war and violence while winning implies that someone loses. So long as people lose and others win, in their view, violence will continue to grow unchecked. The violence will disrupt social networks as well: valuable social networks, even.

    I worry less about self esteem and more about survival skills.-Danny

    As a simple example of what I am refering to, consider that survival implicitly demands that someone lives and someone else dies. In the Leftist world, Danny, their idea of international sanction and writ is designed to ensure that everyone wins. It is designed to ensure that everyone survives: even the dictators and the malcontents, Danny.

    overall competitiveness diminishes as social connectedness increases.-Op

    As Op’s statement here proves, I don’t even need to read what he wrote to understand the basic philosophical framework that is at work here. I didn’t when I stated my basic position, except for Op’s beginning. Follow the logic if you don’t believe me. If social connectedness increases while at the same time overall competitiveness decreases, then this means there will come a time in which both parties win, instead of competing to make the other lose.

    This, reflected in the need for international sanction, is why social skills and a de-emphasis on competition is so important to many members of the Left.

    War is simply both sides losing, without providing any social advantage or social connectivity, in this philosophy. They, in a sense, see no long term prosperity or benefit from war, because they don’t see war as cooperative hunting. They also see war as being mutually exclusive of social networking or cooperation, thus why war can never be “cooperative” anything, let alone cooperative hunting.

    people crowded together in an ever more crowded and interconnected world face an increasing need for cooperation.-Op

    If Book and Danny, or others, are hearing the two letters “UN” in their heads, then I assure them that they are not alone.

    To differentiate the basic philosophy spoken of here with the philosophy I advocate, I will simply recall for the audience’s benefit the charity event Bookworm posted about recently.

    Valour IT, or rather Valor IT in non British spelling, is the name. (The French/British looks more chivalrous and archaic though: something the military values) The four branches of the US military uses intense competition and the drive to win over all others, even their buddies (especially their buddies), to achieve indomitable teamwork via military necessity in wartime and peacetime.

    War is not important to civilian life, except that without an understand of war, any understanding of war, things in civilian life tend to get warped. Even now we have the dread nature of the scientific method to deal with. A million exceptions with a “billion” justifications is a huge and monstrous edifice to deal with, to any human, genius or not. Deductive logic saves us the effort by allowing us to look at human actions totally unrelated to the subject at hand, seemingly, and construct an accurate statement of truth from those seemingly disparate elements.

    This is why I recommended that people look at Valour IT for why having cooperation does not necessarily mean that competition must be absent. It is not part of human nature. Human nature, the best in it, arises only in warfare, Book. You know this. But even for the ones that are skeptical, simply consider the nature of cooperation. Why do people cooperate? People cooperate because it is one of the best survival methods found in nature, whom we revolved from one way or another. Then consider why nature favors survival. Why would nature favor one species over the other: dictate that some go extinct but others live on and survive, or even thrive? Because nature promotes competition. Competition is the law of the jungle that decides whether you are worthy of advancing to the next level in the food chain. It determines whether you have done your best, everything in your power or your species’ power, to grow and become stronger. Nature admires strength, be assured of that. And so we, children of nature or gods or whatever you believe in, admire strength as well or should.

    Such a philosophy is incompatible with the Leftist belief that ultimate cooperation can only come from a result of lessening violence, hostility, aggression, and competition. I’m sorry; it just is. I can do nothing about it.

    I’ll leave the talk about parasites not needing a vigorous host to other times and places.

  10. SGT Dave,

    The way I look at it, you can be angry at fate, Allah, or the opponent for beating you or you can be angry at yourself and motivate yourself to learn from your betters, rivals, and peers.

    It takes a certain self-discipline to admit that one is personally responsible for losing. It is easier to wage and blame others, as the Palestinians and Ayrabs do. It is far easier to attack others and destroy their creations than to center yourself and create your own magnificent creations.

    Such things are just part of the human condition. Anger at being beaten is an evolutionary device given to us so that we may be motivated into learning how to win. That does not mean everyone can make use of their anger, of course. Nature only wants the best; she doesn’t want the rabble.

  11. Incidentally, I happen to know that the minds that came up with that last quote, good liberals all, have their children in private schools.

    Oh, I’d give up something just short of body parts to gain access to whatever information you have along those lines. The Incredibles seemed, to me, to be as much of a “conservative values” move as any that has come down the pike lately, especially from cartoon land.

    A little over an hour later, Syndrome delivers the line “and when everybody’s super…then no one will be!” Which effectively cements this theme as something central to the whole movie. The political movement in this alternate universe that deals with driving superheroes underground, is a metaphor for liberal initiatives to subvert the interests of the individual to the whims of the collective. It’s unmistakable.

    I say that knowing full well the credentials of Holly Hunter and co. Don’t know how to explain it. I would have to guess they got fooled. But The Incredibles is, if not conservative, at the very least rabidly anti-leftist.

  12. First, I’d like to point out that deconstructing the political message of cartoons is, well, just plain silly. Do you really think that the people who created these started off with a plan to foist conservative values on an unsuspecting public? Or do you think they simply wanted to make the most entertaining product they could? Given the amount of money required to build such a movie, and the high risks of an expensive failure, do you really think that anybody in those studios was able to indulge their political preferences?

    Second, I want to make a fine point about the nature of competitiveness. I agree that its motivating power is enormous, and I further agree that it does a great job of diverting young male energies in productive directions. I like competitiveness. Some of my best friends are competitive. Gee, even *I* am competitive. I take a competitive person out to lunch every year on National Competitiveness Appreciation Day.

    These things said, I will also remind everyone that there are costs associated with competitiveness. Businesses suffer when staff members competing for promotion engage in ugly politicking and anti-cooperative behavior that undermines the team. On this point, we’re in the middle of an interesting cultural experiment. Women are slowing moving up the corporate ladder, and as they do so, they are bringing a more cooperative and less competitive outlook to the teams they lead. They’re still competitive, mind you, just not as bloodthirstily competitive as some corporate males. As they do so, businesses are learning to take a more finely tuned approach to competition versus cooperation inside the corporation — to their benefit.

    Second, let me point out that competitive urges do indeed impel the individual to excel — but what happens to that individual when he reaches the top of his abilities, as he inevitably must? I am reminded of one of my favorite posters: a picture of french fries in their little baggie with the caption “Not everybody grows up to be an astronaut.” A lot of males go through a mid-life crisis sometime in their forties or fifties when they realize that they won’t end up as King of the Hill.

    So let’s not put competitiveness up on a pedestal. Like lust, it impels us to do things that are beneficial to ourselves and others. But, like lust, it can be terribly destructive if not carefully circumscribed.

  13. Given the amount of money required to build such a movie, and the high risks of an expensive failure, do you really think that anybody in those studios was able to indulge their political preferences?

    Well, yeah. I do.

    It’s done all the time.

  14. Indulging in your political preferences is good marketing. Fahrenheit 9/11 and all the other anti-war propaganda movies don’t sell well because of story quality, after all.

    The issue is not whether people are competitive. That is totally irrelevant to the philosophical premises at hand.

    The difference is always in what is recommended to “circumscribe” the behavior or problem.

    One might look at Global Warming and say do nothing with another looking at GW and saying “do everything”.

    The problem changes based upon what attempts are used to solve it. A solution intended for one kind of problem will not work on a different problem. So a solution for a problem that does not solve anything, will inherently change the problem and make it worse. And if the solution works, then the problem changes as well. Into a new problem perhaps or even disappears for a time.

    A good example is Book’s latest post about citizen awareness and initiative being tazered. Literally.

    One faction will advocate that you circumscribe competitive problems by a top down approach of obeying authority, first and foremost. The authority at the top then circumscribes or limits the damage of competition. This is essentially the system created by divine monarchies to reign in ambitious and problematic nobles of the aristocracy. Variations also include dictatorships and the balance of powers used in some empires and republics. Japan was a notorious follower of this system, given its feudal nature. It is why so many Japanese were willing, and perhaps even eager, to die for the Emperor. All that competitive drive and need to live went into one person and one religion. Very effective, in the end if not at the beginning.

    Another faction will advocate a bottom up approach, otherwise known as grassroots, democracy, republicanism, etc. This faction recommends that only a loose framework should be imposed, with benefits and detriments, while allowing the majority of the decisions and actions to be undertaken by individuals at the very bottom of the hierarchy. Instead of the top of the hierarchy making most of the decisions, we have most of the decisions made at the bottom. Counter-insurgency and insurgency are very much part of this faction, although often times at odds with the other.

    So it doesn’t even matter in the end that a person believes that competition is sometimes good but must be reigned in. That statement gives no idea of the truth of the matter or the differences that can crop up.

  15. what in the heck does it mean that “students will come to understand that ‘winning’ is dependent upon more than a score in a game?”

    In the context of the article you quoted, Book, essentially I think that means that winning for everyone requires social negotiations and agreements. If one kid wants to win, but that would make another the loser, then the kid who wants to win has to sacrifice i norder to adequately support the social construct that allows the other kid to also win. Thus “winning”, for everyone, requires social agreements and negotiations between everyone. Thus you increase social networking skills, Book, and you produce victory as well. Not victory as we know of, of course, nor victory as known by previous American generations but victory nonetheless. Victory as measured by people who value uplifting everybody, even those not deserving of it, than having to feel the guilt of dealing with a loser.

    There is a reason why people support Hugo Chavez and not Musharaff, Book. It’s complex, true, but essentially it is about social networking. Ensuring that everyone wins is very hard and requires people using social pressure on Musharaff to get what is best for the society, aka United Nations. If that means somebody’s security or freedoms must be taken away, then so be it. It is far better than their life.

    Dictators don’t want to kill; they just want to rule over people. Such a social requirement is easily, easily I say Book, integrated into the philosophy of “everyone should be a winner”.

  16. Ophi,

    First, the quote was, “you are either with us or you are with the terrorists.” There is a subtle bit important difference.

    Second, you have no idea how many Europeans would be willing to feed us to the crocodile. After years of guarding the Fulda Gap, we had a right to ask them to stand with us. BTW, the we are all American line didn’t go much further than the headline. I can give you a book full of quotes from German intellectuals that documents the support this bunch offered.

  17. First, the quote was, “you are either with us or you are with the terrorists.” There is a subtle bit important difference.

    I’m describing a widespread attitude, not providing a quote. Many Americans regarded the French as traitors because they opposed the American invasion of Iraq — an opposition, I might add, that appears to have been well-justified.

    After years of guarding the Fulda Gap, we had a right to ask them to stand with us.

    Did we have a right to demand that they join us in a war that we now regret starting? Perhaps we should have listened more to these people — we might have saved ourselves a great deal of trouble.

    But, getting back to the topic, I think that the fundamental difference between the Americans and the Europeans on this is that the Americans are so competitive that they insist that the terrorists must be beaten. Americans don’t perceive terrorism as a problem to be solved; they see it as a contest to be won. They see a fundamental clash between the Good Guys (us, of course) and the Bad Guys (terrorists, Arabs, Muslims, whatever…) And we have to win. This is a childish and dangerous approach to a difficult policy problem. We need to get past our “We’re Number One!” attitude and think in pragmatic terms of solving problems, not winning games.

  18. I understand from the comments herein just how wide the gap is between those that sit in armchairs constructing elaborate models in the abstract about how this complex, chaotic world should and therefore must work…and those that must confront day to day the world as it really is.

    Imagine…insisting that terrorists must be beaten! The alternate solution to winning is…what, exactly? Losing? A draw? A rousing rendition of Kumbaya? Please, enlighten us.

    As far as, “a war that we now regret starting.’ Who, exactly, is this “we”, Kemosabe?

  19. So the bad guys – (terrorists, Arabs, Muslims, whatever) – are a ‘policy problem’ and attempting to win against them is both dangerous and childish?

    I distinctly remember being a 17 yr old kid, laid back with my friends listening to Pink Floyd. Through the haze of smoke, comments lazily flew back and forth.

    ‘Yeah, man, it’s bs. It’s like, you know,
    the prez is saying I have more tin soldiers
    than you do.’

    ‘Yeah, man. And then the kremlin comes
    out with some bs, like, my tin soldiers
    fight harder for me than yours will.’

    ‘Yeah, man. It’s justa contest of who has the
    biggest pair. You know, like, a coupla kids
    playing king of the mountain. Like, why can’t
    they, like, grow up!’

    And then I grew up. So, like, I kinda like, uhhh, don’t think like that anymore. The funny thing is, it’s an incredible simplist and childish way of thinking, and that’s exactly what people who think like that accuse the other side of.

  20. I take that back. It’s not childish thinking. Most children, left to their own devices, don’t think in such ridiculous patterns. I certainly never knew any kids that developed this sad state of reasoning until they were a bit older.

    It’s a disease particular to teenagers. And Leftists, of course.

  21. Ophi,

    I am in Europe. I heard and read the discussions here. How many years did it take after 9/11 to get The Hook out of Finsbury Park Mosque.? I saw Hans Blix say on TV that he had planned to deal with Saddam by apppealing to his honor. Yep, that”s it. We’ll work on his self esteem while he feeds his people into meatgrinders.

  22. Hans Blix doesn’t even have any honor: nor does Saddam. So I suppose, technically speaking, that Hans Blix could appeal to Saddam given their shared common interests.

    Many Americans regarded the French as traitors because they opposed the American invasion of Iraq

    I had some internet arguments over this subject during 2002-3. I viewed the French as traitors not because I expected them to uphold American interests over French ones, but because the French themselves betrayed their own nation in WWII. Not only the Petain government and the ones that gave Petain power but also the Paris mob that cheered Petain’s refusal to fight and the Nazi occupation. Afterwards, when Nazi Germany betrayed Russia and the Allies started fighting back, including the British that were evacuated at Dunkirk with no thanks to the French Army, then and only then did the French start thinking about fighting back fully. There were still a bunch of collaborators though, who were punished by French “patriots” after the war. Surely there were some French patriots, but what good were they when Petain came into power? No good at all. It took American efforts to galvanize resistance and success. Much as it is still true in Iraq and Afghanistan to this day. The French cannot themselves. Their first instinct is to retreat and to cooperate and to negotiate the use of their nation as a weapon against America and Britain. They cannot avoid it, anymore than Americans can avoid loving the Marine and martial traditions.

    No amount of argument can change the nature of the French national character. Sarko is given well wishes precisely because we know how hard it is to be what he is and to do what he promises to do, in France and Paris. America is still generous enough to give the benefit of the doubt to the French, even when the one they admire is only the French leader and not the French people as a whole.

    If Americans could see the demographics of who voted for Sarko, then perhaps they can differentiate the Hollywood French from the Fly Over Country French, but currently that info is hard to get and not well known.

    Did we have a right to demand that they join us in a war that we now regret starting?

    The French have a right to demand, not us, that the French government provide as much battle experience as is necessary in order to suppress the internal revolts going on in paris and the other locations in France. Without the battle experience and knowledge they could have acquired in France, suppressing internal revolt of the Muslim serf class will be much harder. It already has been much harder.

    The only people who don’t want their nation’s or their allies’ nation to acquire battle experience are parasites and agent provocateurs. Primarily anyways. Such folks are not French patriots, at the least.

    the Americans are so competitive that they insist that the terrorists must be beaten. Americans don’t perceive terrorism as a problem to be solved; they see it as a contest to be won.

    Of course Americans believe in the winner takes all scenario. After all, as people here may well know, I illustrated the difference between Leftist belief in what “winning” is and what Jacksonian Americans believe winning is.

    The Jacksonian/classical liberal/patriot/etc group of allies see us winning and them losing, losing horribly and with great humiliation, as a Good Thing. The Left sees such things as horribly degrading corrosive to good will, international good will that is.

    It is a philosophical difference. If more people studied the philosophical differences, they wouldn’t be surprised at all these differences between Europe and America. Nor would they even have to talk about it.

    This is a childish and dangerous approach to a difficult policy problem. -Op

    Regulars of the Bookworm Room may find it surprising that I would agree with this statement. It is a childish and dangerous approach to a difficult policy problem. Why? Because only danger creates glory, greatness, excellence, and strength of character. You think sitting around where it is safe creates heroes and men or women of indomitable will and strength? No way. They would beg the collar of slavery to be put around them, so long as it saves them from pain and danger. Civilization naturally makes men and women weak. It is unavoidable, really. Just as desperate circumstances create a Hirsi Ali, so does the lap of luxury create a Paris Hilton. You understand the analogy, I hope. I would expect nothing less from the regulars of Bookworm Room.

    I also agree that it is indeed very childish. Because a child naturally gravitates towards truth and away from false promises and lies. A child also looks toward protection, security, and love rather than wealth, toys, and power. Cooperative hunting is one thing. It provides food to the hungry children and martial skills that protect your women and extended family. Cooperative looting, as seen in everything the UN touches, is quite another thing. Cooperative genocide and extermination of a people, is also something that is very very far from being childish or what a child seeks.

    So you see now why I agree that placing a strict adherence on winning and losing is indeed very childish. For a child represents our best potential for a better future. He and she would wish for all that would create a better world. Loving parents, safe circumstances, and productive things to do and learn. All such things are shattered by international cooperation. All. Such. Things. Have no doubt on that score.

    The child knows something the adult tries hard not to think about. The child knows intimately that winning and losing, in the world that we live in, has always been about life and death in the end. If you lose, what do you lose except your ability to survive and take care of your loved ones? Is that something valuable to fight for? The Left says no. We say yes. As simple as that.

    Children are without the societal preconceptions and indoctrinations that adults have lived their entire lives with. Children know the truths I have spelled out instinctually, for nature gave us instincts to survive, not just intelligence. We are not masters over nature, we are simply her greatest creations. Yet even the greatest greations do not have the power of their creators, whether that creator be god or a natural (random) process.

    Children are vulnerable, naive, and undisciplined not because they lack the truths, no they are the way they are because against cooperative sex for food propagated by international cooperation, the children are defenseless. Such is the way of the jungle.

    The Left prefers eugenics and remaking human nature over into their own image. I can’t quite say I support them in this. They try, though. They try very hard with their indoctrination centers and attempts at eliminating the breeding ability of undesirables. Rather than work with children to maximize their chances of survival and to teach them how to harness their instincts and inherited traits, the Left teaches the children that they must not be children. The Left teaches people that they must be automatons and cogs in the grandest and greatest machine humanity has ever created. They call this machine cooperation and equal sharing in a community.

    I do not believe in their philosophical premises nor do I believe in the morality of their methods.

    are a ‘policy problem’ and attempting to win against them is both dangerous and childish?-T

    I hope I have shed some light on this fundamental and common position.

  23. Without the battle experience and knowledge they could have acquired in France

    I was talking about Iraq. The skills the Marines learned in Fallujah and other places are invaluabe for suppressing such things looting, chaos, anarchy, murder, and so forth in France.

  24. Imagine…insisting that terrorists must be beaten! The alternate solution to winning is…what, exactly? Losing? A draw? A rousing rendition of Kumbaya? Please, enlighten us.

    Danny, this quote illustrates precisely the kind of thinking I decry. You’re engaging in black-and-white, either-or thinking. EITHER we win OR we lose. And it should be patent that neither case can obtain. Do you really think that there will ever be a situation in which every last terrorist is dead? Do you really think that, at some point, we could eliminate all Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth? Think about the history. There has NEVER been a time in human history devoid of terrorism. Ghengis Khan made it central to his policy. The Romans used it quite deliberately as part of their conquests. The AmerIndians used it on the Europeans, and the Europeans used it on the AmerIndians. Everybody has used it. Do you really think that we can wipe it out of history with bombs and bullets?

    Conversely, do you really think that terrorists can win? Do you really think that the terrorists can obtain enough airplanes to crash into enough buildings to kill every last American? Even during the height of the Cold War, there was never any fear that the Soviet Union could extinguish American civilization — just that they could kill millions upon millions of Americans. If the full might of the Soviet Union isn’t enough to annihilate us, how could the terrorists pull it off? They can’t obtain an unambiguous victory either.

    The reality is this: terrorism is not a win-lose proposition. It’s a low-level cost imposed upon us. It hurts, but we can’t make it go away. What we can do is reduce its impact. This requires us to consider costs and benefits. Do you realize that we have already spent far more in our war on terrorism than we have suffered in costs? The 9/11 attacks cost us 3,000 lives and about $100 billion in damage. (I’m not sure of this latter figure, I saw one estimate of $200 billion). We have already expended nearly 4,000 lives, 20,000 handicapped, and committed ourselves to about $2 trillion in expenditures. In other words, the solution is worse than the problem. We’re doing far more damage to ourselves than Mr. bin Laden ever did.

    This is the cost of the win-lose mentality. When you approach a problem with the wrong mindset, you end up making matters worse, not better.

    Lastly, I’d like to make a tiny point about this comment of yours:

    …A rousing rendition of Kumbaya?…

    You know, I have never once said anything to that effect. I have never once suggested that appeals to goodwill are the best strategy. What you’re doing here is another logical error: caricaturing your opponent’s position so as to evade its substance. You attempt to dismiss my hardheaded pragmatism as naive by wildly distorting the substance of my argument. Here, let me turn the tables on you and show you what the same tactic looks like against you:

    “…sadistic pleasure in slaughtering millions of innocent children, devastating entire cities, compensating for insecure manhood through violence… etc, etc, etc.”

    I don’t use these stupid tactics because they lower the standard of discussion. I suggest you do the same.

    Tap, I’m not sure I can discern a well-formulated statement in your post. You are denigrating a foolish attitude you took in your youth. However, I fail to see any connection whatever between that foolish position and my own position. Perhaps you should endeavor to establish that connection.

    expat, if you have a complaint about Hans Blix, I suggest that you take it up with him. Do you have any comment on my own position?

  25. You’re engaging in black-and-white, either-or thinking. EITHER we win OR we lose.

    I simply make the observation that Op doesn’t mind either or when it concerns Oph either being right or you being hysterical. Either you are open minded and will listen to Op’s explanations of why you are wrong, or you are hysterical and Op will put you on the list.

    An interesting observation, is it not?

    Do you really think that there will ever be a situation in which every last terrorist is dead?

    I would like to insert something here, hopefully you can read it before you make your reply comment, Danny. The idea that because you can’t kill every last terrorist is a philosophical premise centered around nihilism. Or at least it is an assumption that nihilism makes great use of. A lot of people think that something is not worth doing because they cannot achieve it in their lifetime or the lifetime of their children. That isn’t true. Many things are worth doing simply because those are Good things, regardless of whether the result is a perfected world.

    Fighting against darkness and the next dark age may be futile, but it is still something that ought to be done. People should try at least.

    This is a long term judgment based upon ethical analysis. I am refering to the decision to fight for something that will never exist in your life time.

    As a reminder and a recap, nihilists believe that violence and war is always wrong because humanity has never been able to stop human suffering and violence. When I say “stop”, I mean stop it permanently. The nihilist sees this as futility, and therefore instead of trying to fight violence and war, they fight what causes war. What causes war then? Beliefs. Beliefs cause wars. Honestly held beliefs most of all, as seen in America’s history.

    What would the Founding Fathers have done if someone back then said “your dream of a united and prosperous United States will either never happen or will happen when you are long and dead. So what is the point”?

    Would they have said, “The reality is this: [the war against the British]is not a win-lose proposition.”? Quotes from Op’s comment btw.

    We have already expended nearly 4,000 lives, 20,000 handicapped, and committed ourselves to about $2 trillion in expenditures. In other words, the solution is worse than the problem.

    Either Thomas Jefferson said this or some other person back when the Barbary Pirates were hijacking US shipping. Something about millions for defense but not one cent for tribute. Such people valued “cost” in terms of not dollars and lives, but in the ideals that make life worth having.

    Giving Dane Geld will simply mean that the Danes will come back for more next time.

    It is this Need for cooperation and international sanction that is at the heart of the rift and corruption of Leftist ideology. If it wasn’t for that, things wouldn’t be as bad.

    I don’t use these stupid tactics because they lower the standard of discussion. I suggest you do the same.

    The moral high ground is very important to Op. Put him on the list, Op. Stronger arguments naturally make people feel defensive. While I will admit that Op prefers to avoid weak logical fallacies, that still doesn’t mean Op looks for strong arguments either. At least not from the opposition.

    Perhaps you should endeavor to establish that connection.
    -Op

    I did some of those connections for Tap. Tap is free to use it as he sees fit, but it is not as if it isn’t there for Op to read either.

  26. Americans don’t perceive terrorism as a problem to be solved; they see it as a contest to be won. They see a fundamental clash between the Good Guys (us, of course) and the Bad Guys (terrorists, Arabs, Muslims, whatever…) And we have to win. This is a childish and dangerous approach to a difficult policy problem. We need to get past our “We’re Number One!” attitude and think in pragmatic terms of solving problems, not winning games.
    -Op

    Anyone care to remind me again of what Op said about him not using stupid tactics that lower the standard of discussion?

  27. Where I disagree fundamentally with your argument is that “terrorism can’t be defeated”. That’s like arguing, “well, we can’t eliminate war, therefore we should just learn to live with it.”.

    Terrorism is a strategy…what we can defeat is terrorist movements, as has been done in the past. E.g., the Huks (Philippines), Malayan and Thai communists (1950s), Algerian Islamacists, Viet Cong (1970s), Quantrell’s Raiders (Civil War), Apaches (19th Century), the Assassins (11th & 12th Century Middle East and Middle Asia), yada, yada, yada. Ghengis Khan, by the way, led massive armies, not terrorists.

    Neither is terrorism static – it reacts to changing circumstances. When you accept and accommodate it (as Clinton did), you embolden them by convincing them they can get away with it.

    What you call “pragmatism” is simply defeatism and enablement of terrorism. You encourage them when you permit them to pursue their agenda. You defeat them when you make them realize that their cause is a dead end (much like General Kitchener defeated the Islamicist Mahdi in 19th Century Sudan, the movement collapsed). Your attitude only makes the next 9/11 event more likely.

    What I also don’t understand is why you think terrorism in today’s world of proliferating WMDs can be treated as background noise. The Islamo-fascist terrorists killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in Algeria during the 1990s (let’s blame Bush) before they were defeated…and this was without them using WMDs. The fact is they were defeated. It is hard to gain recruits when you have been defeated…it looks like a losing proposition at that point.

    As far as your damage estimates, you seem incapable of understanding that a nuke exploded on the loading docks of Long Beach will cause far more than $200 million in damages of 9/11 (which I believe you severely understated, given what happened to the U.S. and global economy).

    But, this isn’t about economic cost/benefits.

    What I find particularly disturbing is how you can speak of losing millions and millions of Americans with a “What, me worry?” attitude.

    “If the full might of the Soviet Union isn’t enough to annihilate us, how could the terrorists pull it off?” Are you kidding? Au contraire. There are plenty of instances in History where small, violent movements seized control of nations and peoples because the populations were unable and unwilling to resist. The Bolsheviks in Russia and the Castroistas in Cuba are only two such examples. You seem to be making the argument that it is pointless to resist.

    Sadly, I have had to conclude that for many members of the Liberal/Left, 9/11 was simply an abstraction, as long as they themselves had no personal connection to the dead. For them, it was simply a video-reality play. The victims of 9/11 weren’t volunteers. Our soldiers and heroes in Iraq are. Unlike those that live and work within the value-less, sanitized bubbles of their own mental abstractions, they understand better than most that life and liberty are precious and that, to survive, you must have the courage to draw lines in the sand. As YM has pointed out, these are men and women who still understand, live-up to and sometime die for the concept of honor.

    They do know what it means as a point of honor to stand up and defend their nation and families.

  28. Danny, you’re still stuck in the same mistake: you’re assuming that it’s black and white. Either we triumph or we die. Either we choose to utterly crush the terrorists or we choose to allow them to kill us. That kind of black and white thinking is what is blinding you to what I’m really saying, causing you to impute things to me that are absolutely wrong.

    You can’t defeat terrorism, but you can mitigate its effects. You can put up better security at airports. You can put the squeeze on the states that sponsor it. You can bring to bear better financial controls to reduce their access to funding. You can cut down on their activities, but you can never make them go away. If we kill Mr. bin Laden and the Taliban leaders, there will be another organization springing up.

    Pay attention to what I’m actually writing: I’m saying that we should concentrate on policies that accomplish something rather than foolishly lashing out in some idiotic notion that this is a football game that we can win or lose. Those policies I recommend will never defeat terrorism, but they will minimize the damage it inflicts; whereas the policies pursued by Mr. Bush have made matters much worse.

    But, this isn’t about economic cost/benefits.

    I think this statement is indicative of pride rather than cool analysis. Remember your Bible: Pride goeth before the fall.

    As to your historical citations, you’ve made some errors. The Viet Cong were not defeated in the Vietnam war; what happened was that the North Vietnamese army increased its role in the fighting until it was the dominant force opposing us. But we never defeated the VC.

    And Ghengis Khan did indeed rely heavily on terror as part of his military strategy. It wasn’t terror in the sense of sending suicide bombers into crowds, but the psychology was the same: terrorize your enemy to gain advantage.

    I won’t respond to your specific statements because your entire post is based on the misapprehension of what I wrote. Please, let go of that hard mindset that sees everything in terms of victory or defeat and think more carefully about the details.

  29. Danny, you’re still stuck in the same mistake: you’re assuming that it’s black and white

    It is not a mistake. It is simply a disagreement. Some people can handle the fact that the Left disagrees with them. Others can’t accept that there might be someone out of the Leftist circle that holds to different philosophical beliefs.

    There is no “One Truth” based only in Leftist ideology, after all. Assuming there even is one truth above all other truths, in any ideology.

  30. I’m saying that we should concentrate on policies that accomplish something rather than foolishly lashing out in some idiotic notion that this is a football game that we can win or lose

    The Left doesn’t even accept the moderate and rather reasonable analogy put forth by the Bookworms of the Neo-Con and crypto conservative leagues. You know the one concerning supporting your sports team when it wins and booing the other team if they look to be winning.

    Pay attention to what I’m actually writing

    Danny can pay attention quite well. The same cannot be said for you, Op. It is not about paying attention. You are not the wisdom giver from the mountains, sent forth by God to tell us heathens what is what. Accept that fact, if nothing else.

    The Viet Cong were not defeated in the Vietnam war

    The Viet Cong cadres and cells were annihilated in Tet and the Phoenix Program assassinated and kill the rest. The Viet Cong as a terrorist and guerrilla organization almost ceased to exist after the US pulled out.

    It was the North Vietnamese Army, the NVA, that took Saigon, not the VietCong (Charlies).

    After the disaster of Tet, both the NVA and the VC were non-effective. It just so happens that with Soviet support, it is much easier to reconstitute a conventional army than to train guerrilla cells and cadres. The Soviet provided the conventional cadre forces, in the end.

    Please, let go of that hard mindset that sees everything in terms of victory or defeat and think more carefully about the details.-Op

    Telling people what to think and how to think is a good start. Not for us, though.

  31. Ophi, there are so many unwarranted assumptions here that I don’t know where to begin. I am not sure that you read anything that I wrote other than very superficially. OK, let’s take a few examples:

    “You can’t defeat terrorism” – says who? Read what I wrote.

    “The Viet Cong were not defeated in the Vietnam war” – the Viet Cong were absolutely crushed in the Tet Offensive. Afterward, only the North Vietnamese remained as a fighting force. In fact, according to (NVA) General Giap’s memoirs, the North Vietnamese army, too, were pretty much defeated during the Tet Offensive until Walter Cronkite and the American Left pronounced it to be an American defeat to a gullible public and breathed new life into the North Vietnamese. The Democrat/Left was just as determined to lose that war as it is to lose this one.

    “If we kill Mr. bin Laden and the Taliban leaders, there will be another organization springing up.” Really? Sez who? Read what I wrote.

    “You can put the squeeze on the states that sponsor it” – now that’s worked well, hasn’t it? How do you propose to put a “squeeze” on state sponsors of terrorism when you have already surrendered the military option? Just asking.

    “the policies pursued by Mr. Bush have made matters much worse” – Really? Evidence, please. I suppose that, that using the same logic, you could argue that Eisenhower’s invasion of Normandy made things much worse, too. Eisenhower lied, thousands died!

    And Ghengis Khan did indeed rely heavily on terror as part of his military strategy” – yes, as waged by his conventional army. We aren’t talking about war against conventional forces, however. So, the point is?

    Again, your logic argues that, since we can’t eliminate war, we should just live with it. This was Bill Clinton’s approach to terror – it escalated into 9/11. Your “defense only” approach would only continue the escalation. This is real world, not theory.

    But, let me turn it around. I am all eyes and ears. Please provide us with some specific historic examples of where your approach has worked.

  32. Danny, I think we have drifted so far apart that we’re just talking past each other. Time to end this particular discussion.

  33. Danny, I think we have drifted so far apart that we’re just talking past each other. Time to end this particular discussion.

    I suppose that could be translated as Danny 1 Ophiuchus 0.

    These kinds of things happen when we get down to the deep philosophical assumptions, Book.

    Coincidentally, almost.

    Please provide us with some specific historic examples of where your approach has worked.

    Wrong question, Danny. You’re on the ignore list now.

  34. “When you, here, everyone of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.”

    I miss the Greatest Generation.

    And I question the Americanism of those for whom losing is no big deal.

  35. Ophiuchus, if you cannot see a direct correlation between that foolish attitude of my youth and the last paragraph of your previous post (9:08pm), what can I say? It’s crystal clear to me.

  36. Tap writes:

    Ophiuchus, if you cannot see a direct correlation between that foolish attitude of my youth and the last paragraph of your previous post (9:08pm), what can I say? It’s crystal clear to me.

    What’s crystal clear to you is your distortion of a position you disagree with into something completely different. You equate a position you dislike with youthful foolishness. If that’s the best argument you can come up with… well, all I can say is, “Have a nice day!”

    cannoneerno4, There’s a real irony in your quotation:

    That’s why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.

    Obviously, this was written before Vietnam. But it does contain an important truth: Americans place more importance upon saving face than actually accomplishing anything. This is a profound blunder. Never forget the most important sentence from von Clausewitz’s On War: “War is the extension of policy to other means.” Wars are not football games (although most Americans seem to think so). Wars are a means of accomplishing some political goal. If you’re going to expend the lives of your soldiers, you owe it to them to guarantee that they are laying down their lives for some useful purpose, something more than vanity. That’s what’s so sickening to me about this statement:

    And I question the Americanism of those for whom losing is no big deal.

    I wish damnation upon all Americans who place victory above success. They would expend the lives of our soldiers solely to save face, to look good, to “win”. They don’t give a damn about whether the soldiers are buying anything worthwhile with their blood — they just want to have something to cheer about when they watch the evening news as they swill their beer. Their overweening pride, their evil viciousness, and their gross ignorance of the real world are a fundamental and major threat to the well-being of our country. They claim that they support the military but in truth they are treating it like the toy soldiers from their youth. They like to think of themselves as patriots, but instead they are taking this country to perdition. They are certainly far more dangerous to our well-being than all the terrorists in the world.

  37. TARNATION!

    Ophiuchus has us nailed. DANG. Who told him we were ‘beer swilling’ rubes composed of ‘overweening pride’, ‘evil viciousness’ and ‘gross ingnorance’???

    I thought we were trying keep this stuff top-secret, guys. C’mon, now, why’d someone have to go and tell him it’s all about rah rah, we’re number one? How in blazes did he figure out that we just wanna win, but don’t give a hoot about success???

    Dang, is this guy a mind-reader or what? If no one told him all our secrets, well, how’d he find out? He must have esp.

    Anyway, he DOES have a point. If total annihilation is impossible, why, what’s our problem, anyway? We just need to raise our standards. Maybe we can compromise. Can we kill them when they can threaten 20% of Americans (if I may be so provincial) 40%? What’s the threshold?

    Anywho, Ophiuchus, it may be that it would behoove you not to accuse others of ‘caricaturing your opponent’s position’ until you get a handle on the problem yourself. I realize that you may really reaaaallly think you have us nailed, but in the absense of proof, you may just want to stick to the facts.

  38. Anywho, Ophiuchus, it may be that it would behoove you not to accuse others of ‘caricaturing your opponent’s position’ until you get a handle on the problem yourself.

    You might as well wish for eternal peace and prosperity on Earth, Tap. It would have a higher chance of occuring than the Left learning not to project their faults on others, at least.

    What’s crystal clear to you is your distortion of a position you disagree with into something completely different. -Op

    Does that have anything to do with you telling Danny to pay attention to the fact that you just don’t agree with him? The problem was that Danny doesn’t agree with you, but you made it out to be that Danny just wasn’t paying attention to you. Clever.

  39. But it does contain an important truth: Americans place more importance upon saving face than actually accomplishing anything.

    Americans are not Arabs. You must be confused. Meditation helps that out and so does green tea.

    They would expend the lives of our soldiers solely to save face, to look good, to “win”.

    I would simply like to direct the audience’s attention to, once again, the philosophical assumptions that power Op’s arguments. Why is winning not successful conduct? Because successful conduct is only conducted through international cooperation and negotiations. Making someone lose, by winning yourself, simply creates… blowback, if you will. Being better than others… simply creates resentment and the need on the part of Arabs to kill Westerners. You see how philosophical assumptions power all such ideological arguments?

    We don’t need to argue every specific statement and proposal from the Left. Their philosophy is wrong, thus most of everything that they say is wrong. Simple and very time conserving.

  40. Their overweening pride, their evil viciousness, and their gross ignorance of the real world are a fundamental and major threat to the well-being of our country. They claim that they support the military but in truth they are treating it like the toy soldiers from their youth. They like to think of themselves as patriots, but instead they are taking this country to perdition. They are certainly far more dangerous to our well-being than all the terrorists in the world.

    Even the most moderate Leftist cannot truly avoid the inevitable consequences of their beliefs. Such beliefs will eventually cry out to be spoken and publicized. One way or another.

    Toy soldiers=Chicken Qaaewk.

    You see how the Left transmutes their ideology to the point where most, if not all, Leftist members use the same arguments?

  41. Tap, I was referring only to “Americans who place victory above success.” Are you pleading guilty to that? If so, why do you feel that victory is more important than success?

  42. […] even have sidewalks, where walking around and running are not an option. Also, given that the schools have abandoned the competitive sports model, a model that teaches kids to be good winners, good losers and good team players, soccer and other […]

  43. “Tap, I was referring only to “Americans who place victory above success.” Are you pleading guilty to that?”

    ooooo Noooo, not me. You me and Obama, we’re the only sane ones.

    The rest of those non-European Americans you talk about are just nuts. Except for the other ones who think appeals to the goodwill of terrorist are the best strategy. They’re wacky. But, since that’s not us, why quibble?

    You and me bud, we’re tight. We are the only rational Americans left. I know you were really characterizing all those OTHER Americans who don’t agree with you, not anybody here. You know. All the peeps who go around talking about how they just wanna win, but to HECK with success! THOSE GUYS. Man, if I’ve heard that one once, why, I’ve heard it a million times.

    By the way, I think you should learn how to generalize a little more. You don’t do enough of it. And you’re so darn GOOD at it. I admit, you’ve made a good start with statements like:

    “The furious American reaction against 9/11 wasn’t so much about the tragedy as it was about the resentment of having the bad guys score a point against us — which meant that we had to go and score ten points against them.”

    or

    “Americans don’t perceive terrorism as a problem to be solved; they see it as a contest to be won.”

    or

    “Americans place more importance upon saving face than actually accomplishing anything.”

    or

    “Wars are not football games (although most Americans seem to think so).”

    I believe you could accomplish more if you didn’t venerate Americans so. Dig down deep and tell us what you really think about Americans. Spend more time comparing American and Europeans as well. Maybe you can inspire more of us to emulate those dapper fellers across the pond.

    We realize you don’t mean US, anyway. Just everyone who disagrees with you except for those of us here on this thread. You’re just so darn good at telling us what they really think.

  44. […] on November 12th, 2007 at 12:19 pm […]

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