bin Laden Dead

May 2, 2011

You’ll have heard by now that our guys killed Osama bin Laden yesterday.  Apparently we were able to locate him because of intelligence obtained from detainees at Guantanamo Bay, which some suggest would not have been possible without waterboarding

I don’t mean to drag this great accomplishment by our military and intelligence down into petty partisanship, but inasmuch as there are partisans on the other side who see this as an opportunity to score political points for President Obama, and against President Bush, I just thought you should know that there have been real benefits from things like Guantanamo.  This is the same Guantanamo of which Obama in 2008 said things like

I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. . . .

I have said repeatedly that America doesn’t torture. And I’m going to make sure that we don’t torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America’s moral stature in the world.

and

We can set the highest standards around the world for human rights and rule of law and close Guantanamo and restore habeas corpus.

Then-candidate Obama also referred to “the Bush Administration’s attempt to create a legal black hole at Guantanamo — yet another failed policy supported by John McCain.”  See also “Guantanamo Closure Called Obama Priority”.

As Rush Limbaugh put it, President Obama deserves credit for continuing the successful Bush policies that made this accomplishment possible.

The National Journal tries to give a fair and balanced round-up of the debate over this so far.

See also Fox News (but only in the Hispanic version, apparently?) on what I would call a salutary resurgence of cultural confidence in the sometimes self-hating West.

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33 Responses to “bin Laden Dead”

  1. Snoodickle Says:

    Where in the Bible does it say torture is okay? I must give you credit though for giving President Obama credit (vicariously through Rush Limbaugh, but I’ll take it) for taking out Osama.

    This does improve his reelection chances greatly though, so it must be a bittersweet moment.


  2. I thought Obama was already guaranteed to win re-election?

    If you’re suddenly willing to accept the Bible as a moral authority, we’ll have to revisit those conversations about homosexuality! In the meantime, the short answer is, No, the Bible doesn’t say it’s OK to torture. Neither does American law (for background, see here, here, and perhaps here, for example).

    How about you? What do you think torture is?

  3. Snoodickle Says:

    I am not quite willing to accept an ancient text that condones slavery as moral authority just yet.

    I don’t necessarily consider waterboarding torture, but I guess I was assuming that you would condone more extreme methods of interrogation than waterboarding. I’ll allow you to respond to that though.

    In order for something to be considered torture, I think that it would have to do some kind of permanent damage, either physically or psychologically, although the presence of either would not necessarily make something torture.


  4. I think it’s facile to dismiss the Bible like that. With respect to slavery, the Old Testament code was a significant improvement over the surrounding cultures. It was part of God’s plan for a particular people of a particular time and place. The New Testament supersedes it.

    As Andy McCarthy says in one of those pieces, we don’t know the exact details of how our guys have done waterboarding, but based on the information available to me, I agree, waterboarding should not be considered torture and should be allowed, within limits.

    Given that you and I seem to agree about waterboarding, I’m not sure what you’re asking me to respond to. My original entry said waterboarding. Your most recent comment said waterboarding. I’m not trying to avoid changing the subject, if that’s what you want to do, but if so—if we’re not just already done with this conversation at this point—I guess I want a clarification of what you’re changing the subject to, and what you’re asking me.

  5. Snoodickle Says:

    As I’ve said before, your justification of the Bible’s condonation of slavery simply does not make sense to me, and I cannot believe that a God that is truly good, as most religions claim he is, would ever allow slavery, in any form. It’s really ridiculous when you think about it.

    I guess my question at this point would be do you condone methods of interrogation more extreme than waterboarding? If so, how do you reconcile this with your religious beliefs? Even waterboarding, which causes pain, terror, and suffering (although perhaps not enough to consitute true torture), how do you reconcile that with the Christian tenet of treating every human being with dignity, love, and compassion, even the evil ones? I think I’ve asked you this same question about the death penalty, and never really received an adequate response.


  6. About the Bible, I think you’re being simplistic and, surprisingly, provincial: You’re constrained by the assumptions and prejudices of our age, the particular time and place in which we happen to live.

    First, slavery in the Middle East in Old Testament times was a very different thing from the slavery you’re probably thinking of, slavery in the American South in recent history. I’m not saying that it wasn’t an evil, but it wasn’t the same thing.

    More importantly, God allows evil. Your argument against Him for allowing slavery is, in principle, no stronger than any other argument that God cannot be good and all-powerful and allow evil and suffering to occur. As you say, we’ve discussed this many times before. The short answer is free will. The long answer is read C. S. Lewis’s The Problem of Pain.

    The Old Testament code was a step in the right direction for deeply sinful people (us). If it helps, think of God as a pastor, or maybe a doctor: He didn’t start by looking at the miserable sinner and demanding immediate perfection; He wanted to help the patient start where he was and work his way up from there. You’ll notice that it’s the Christian West that eventually abolished slavery, with His help; other parts of the world are still working on it.

    As to torture and interrogation, if you were never talking about any specific methods (other than waterboarding), even in the hypothetical, then of course I don’t have any specific opinion. I won’t assume that there will never be any method “more extreme” than waterboarding that I would nonetheless favor; at the same time, I don’t assume that there is necessarily any possible method “more extreme” than waterboarding that I could support in good conscience.

    Broadly speaking (and again, based on my limited knowledge, see above), I think that American law has set a pretty reasonable standard for what should be allowed. As in other areas of American law, people seem to have been careful to create a number of limits and safeguards.

    It would be easier to discuss Christian morality with you if you were on the inside, but you’re right that in Christianity, we’re commanded to love—in fact, it’s the most important commandment, the “Great Commandment” (to love God and to love our neighbor). That doesn’t rule out doing things to people that they don’t like, depending on the circumstances. You needn’t even go so far as waterboarding; as your objection to slavery presumes, human liberty itself is important, and it shouldn’t be taken away (e.g., by imprisoning someone) without good reason. It also shouldn’t be taken away but by the state, generally, which has the monopoly on the legitimate use of force. (This is part of why we conservatives think the government’s spheres of activity should be carefully limited, by the way, if you would like to understand conservatism.) The short answer is that in the hypothetical situation you’re describing, discomfort and/or suffering is being inflicted by the state, within limits, for a good reason.

  7. Snoodickle Says:

    There is a critical difference between allowing evil and specifically endorsing evil through the word of God. If the Old Testament is indeed the word of God, then God endorsed evil in the passages in the Exodus creating a framework for slavery. You cannot, and will never be able to, rationalize this convincingly. Logic is simply not on your side.

  8. historical critic Says:

    Wait, do you mean that part in Exodus where God liberates the Israelites from slavery in Egypt?

    No, you mean the part where God gives Israel rules that assume the existence of the institution of slavery. (Because nowhere in the Bible does it say, “There will be such a thing as slavery.”) I’m not sure that one can make a good case that simply assuming the existence of slavery, and regulating it, is endorsing it. In fact, one might be able to argue the opposite, that regulation most often arises to deal with something problematic and connotes disapproval. (As an example, think of how we regulate cigarettes.) I don’t want to push that too far, of course. But that I can make such an argument at least means it isn’t so easy to say the Bible “endorses” slavery.

    Do you know the story of the Exodus from Egypt? Interestingly (if this sort of thing interests you, I guess), God basically persuades the Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave. It’s some pretty powerful persuasion, but God makes it clear what God wants and lets Pharaoh make the choice. Slavery seems to be something that people have always tried to do to one another. The norm rather than the exception. God allows it just as he allows any evil.

    How does a sovereign God deal with a created world that has free will? Like any good parent! Consider: God sometimes provides guidance or recommendations, sometimes creates rules, and occasionally reaches over our free will and just does what he wants. Those are three tiers of prescriptive/proscriptive acts.

    Although the Israelites kept slaves themselves, they were constantly reminded that their understanding of the world should rest upon the memory of their enslavement in Israel. So the laws about slavery sound like this: if you damage your slave’s eye or tooth, you must free him as recompense. (Exodus 21:26-27) A tooth! Later in the Bible, we find the law that all slaves are freed every seven years. Partly this springs from the centrality of the story of the Exodus in Israelite law and self-understanding. Partly, the rule exists because slavery back then was mostly indentured servitude, and jubilee years are debt-forgiveness years. We use the word “slavery” because they use the word “slavery.” But what they mean is “indentured servitude.” In a less sophisticated economic system, this was actually a good thing, believe it or not. Certainly better than debtor’s prison, I’d say. And it was over if you chipped his tooth.

    That doesn’t sound like endorsement to me. It sounds like a way of dealing with a problem (two problems, if you count debt) seemingly endemic in human society.

    • historical critic Says:

      Ooops! Should read, in the second to last paragraph, “their enslavement in Egypt.” I don’t really proof-read. Sorry!

  9. Snoodickle Says:

    The inconsistencies in the story of God continue to pile up. Ironically, your explanations lead to more of them. You claim that God persuaded the Pharaoh to free the Israelites from bondage. More specifically, God made clear his intentions by speaking directly to a pagan ruler.

    It’s interesting that God did not do the same with respect to slavery in the South. Why did he never speak directly to Southern leaders to persuade them to free the slaves as he did with the Pharaoh?

    I’ve pointed this out before, that the only documented instances of God having direct contact with human beings occurred thousands of years ago, and are embodied in an ancient text. In recent history, it would appear that God has disappeared, and his absence is notable especially in instances like slavery in the South, where God has intervened to prevent slavery before, but fails to do so in that instance.

    As I’ve said, I am more than willing to accept the Bible as the truth if indeed it is so. But the senselessness of the story of God, as told by Christianity (and other religions as well), lead to me to the conclusion that it cannot be true, at least not as the Christians tell it. Again, logic is not on your side.

  10. historical critic Says:

    Ok, then I’m not sure exactly what we’re talking about.

    (1) You haven’t identified any inconsistencies in my logic. I addressed the question of whether the Bible “endorses” slavery. That’s it. Read my post again. It has nothing to do with whether the Bible is “true” or whether you should believe in God. We can talk about those things if you want, but they are a separate conversation.

    (2) As to the South: [and for a while, assuming God DIDN’T free the Africans, because not everyone will agree with you there.] There is no rule that God behave consistently across non-analogous situations. (Apart from the word “slavery,” what does the Exodus have in common with the ante-bellum South?) And it is no kind of recognized proof in logic, statistics, science or anywhere that because a thing did not happen in one instance it cannot have happened in any other. (Just, as long as you want to talk about logic, I mean.)

    But the problem with this line of inquiry is deeper than that: Discussing why God Himself didn’t tell the Pagan Ruler of the South to let the Africans go requires making the huge assumption that God exists. Logic is a careful discipline. Let’s look at this closely. I am unaware of any philosopher or theologian who thinks it makes sense to evaluate the existence of God by first deciding what personality and attributes God should have, and then looking around to see if that invented personality exists. That put an amazingly large cart before its horse, logically speaking. There are discussions about the character of God, to be sure (and that is what you want to discuss when you ask why God didn’t free American slaves—which, by the way, a lot of people would say he did), but those conversations only happen logically subsequent to the establishment of the existence of God. That’s a little bit like saying the President of the United States doesn’t really exist, because we want a President like Martin Sheen was on the West Wing, and nobody we’ve elected to office is Martin Sheen.

    Lots of people write books, though. Dawkins is a great scientist with wonderful things to say about evolution, but he sounds ridiculous when he talks about religion. His reasoning: religious people irk me, they look crazy, and institutional religions have cause lots of problems in the world. Therefore, God does not exist. Ah! What logic! (That isn’t logic.)

    (3) Speaking of logic being a careful discipline, I did not say above that God spoke directly with a pagan ruler. And he didn’t. Moses did. How can you evaluate the logic of my argument when you aren’t using the same facts? I don’t mean to be cheeky. But I don’t know how to argue about falsehoods. And I think it is probably important to your question about slavery in the South and the apparent absence of divine intervention in the world. Pharaoh was not the same kind of skeptic as you are, so he didn’t need to be persuaded that God existed. But if you were Pharaoh, you might be inclined to find a way to rationalize the plagues. You might think Moses was some religious kook who thought God was talking to him!

    Which brings us to whether God reveals himself directly to men anymore. I think there are a few things to consider. First, the timeline of the Bible. Leaving off Adam and Eve and the mists of pre-historic time, the Bible covers at least 1,500 years. There are big gaps where God doesn’t do much speaking. If God has never talked to you from a burning bush, if you have never seen God do something like destroying the walls of Jericho, well, that puts you in the same position as the vast majority of people who lived during the very long “time of the Bible.”

    I think that if you were to be part of religious communities you would find that people have been talking about the remarkable activities of God all through the past two thousand years, and your claim that nothing has happened recently will seem like nonsense to them. But then, they are like Moses in the story. You are like the pharaoh. Does that make sense? A religious person can tell you how instrumental God was in his participation in some pivotal moment in history (read some of the abolitionists, for example!), but you will always, always, be able to say, as the Pharaoh could have, “well, God didn’t say that to ME, so how do I know?” I’d say, maybe the abolition of slavery, when combined with the testimony of Christians who worked to abolish it, could be a very good argument indeed for the existence of God. If we take Exodus as a sort of pattern.

    All those instances of God acting in the world are recorded in an ancient book because the book is ancient and we have stopped writing it. Since then, people have been recording the activity of God in other books. But they aren’t the Bible. I’m not sure what the ancientness of the Bible has to do with anything.

    So, here are your levels. They have to be asked in this order, more or less.
    1) does God exist?
    2) if so, what is God like?
    3) if God is interactive, does God still interact with the world?
    4) if so, did God help free American slaves?
    5) if not, why?

    So, although I gave a short almost-answer to number 5 (they aren’t analogous situations and God can do what he wants), I think its possible that the question preceding it is answered in the affirmative, that God was instrumental in the abolition of slavery in America, through intermediaries like Moses and threats like the Civil War.

    That’s a lot. And it isn’t very well organized. You opened lots of different conversations in your post. I apologize if
    this reply is too scattered.

  11. Snoodickle Says:

    I always know I’ve made a strong point when I elicit a lengthy response. I will close my case here.

    • historical critic Says:

      Look, what’s your game? You asked me a question and I did my best to give it the answer it deserved.

  12. Snoodickle Says:

    P.S.

    “God basically persuades the Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave. It’s some pretty powerful persuasion, but God makes it clear what God wants and lets Pharaoh make the choice.”

    • historical critic Says:

      Ah, you think I misled you? Maybe we have differing understandings of the words “directly” and “intermediary”?

      I think of it like this: Boy asks Buddy to tell Girl that Boy thinks she’s pretty. Buddy goes up to Girl and says, “Boy over there thinks you’re pretty.” That’s a message from Boy to Girl, with Buddy acting as an intermediary. Boy informs Girl of his attraction, but not directly. Poor Girl must take Buddy’s word for it.

      Or this: Boy tells Buddy, “go tell Girl that my mom makes a great ham sandwich, and if she’ll be my girlfriend, I will always give her half of my ham sandwich.” Buddy relates the proposal to Girl, and Girl is persuaded to be Boy’s girlfriend. Boy persuaded Girl. But, again, poor Girl must take intermediary Buddy’s word for it.

      Or maybe my mistake was assuming you were familiar with the story in Exodus. (No, actually, I asked if you were familiar with it, didn’t I? Well, then I can’t help you. I’m happy to tell you the story if you want; as long as you want to argue about it, you should know it! But you could read it for yourself in the first few chapters of Exodus. Or watch The Ten Commandments.)

  13. Snoodickle Says:

    Speaking of boys and girls, I met a major hottie last night and she is totally into me. 21 years old, amazing body, gorgeous facial features, and she totally thinks I’m hot too. Cha ching!!!

  14. Mickey mouse Says:

    Where’s the love for President Clinton? After all it was President Clinton who initially called for the capture of Osama.

    You both believe in god because someone told you some bullshit story and you bought it. Religion is a cult. You would never have found the god that you worship today if it wasn’t for indoctrination. Think this…do this…don’t do this. Its all bullshit.

    Be yourself and be free. It will lead to happiness…and 21 year old hot babes who you can screw without feeling guilty, and you can wear protection!!


  15. Jon, you know that’s not true. You know me. I converted to Christianity in college.

    I was raised by Quakers, possibly the subculture with the most hands-off philosophy about raising children, in a larger culture that’s already very hands-off. Quakers are so concerned not to impose their beliefs on anyone that they err on the side of not communicating, even to their own children, that they themselves even have any beliefs.

    As for the larger context of the town I grew up in, culturally speaking, my hometown is still the most atheist town in America I’ve ever known. During elementary school, I left the public school system of that town and attended an even more overtly atheist-leaning private school.

    I wasn’t “indoctrinated”—far from it. I’m Christian partly because I think that Christianity makes more sense, rationally, than any of the alternatives, including any form of atheism I’ve heard of so far.

    So, ironically, it looks to me as if you were the one being blinded by your preconceived notions (that people can be religious only by “indoctrination”). If you’d actually like to think through these things, I recommend C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, and Miracles. Lewis won’t attempt to “indoctrinate” you; he’s big on logic and reason, as I am, and as you imply that you would like to be. He also used to be atheist, as you are (and as I was).

    In the meantime, you’re not only cut off from your Creator and God; you’re letting yourself be cut off from humanity as well. Forget about Christianity and Christians: Look at the Hindus. Look at the Muslims. Look at the ancient Greek philosophers. Look at pre-Communist China. Look at pre-colonial Africa. Look at whomever you like: The wisest individuals and the accumulated collective wisdom of the peoples of most times and places in human history would agree that deep fulfillment and the truly good life are not to be found in “screwing” “without feeling guilty”. That’s hedonism. It’s shallow and it’s hollow. If you pursue that life, at best, you’ll never know more than superficial happiness. You’ll never know deep joy.

    Maybe you’ll never know what you’re missing.

  16. Snoodickle Says:

    With all due respect, there’s no way you can think that Christianity makes more sense rationally than anything else. I do not believe you when you say that.


    • I do. I’d be happy to explain it more. Read those C. S. Lewis books I just recommended to Jon; then call me and we’ll talk about it.

      With all due respect, I’m not sure I believe that you’re even seriously interested in knowing what is true or rational. Look at the conversation you started (and couldn’t finish) with “historical critic”.

      • Snoodickle Says:

        I have based my whole life on finding the truth, Chillingworth, and it is not to be found in Christianity. I believe that deep down inside you know this, but will never admit it.

  17. Mickey mouse Says:

    I believe I have told you the story of my cousin who is a high ranking official in the moonies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wilson_%28academic%29). He graduated from Harvard in three years and was then convinced to join the moonies.

    This is how it has been explained to me. Mr. Wilson was incredibly intelligent. He didn’t have any friends because he was socially awkward. He was invited to a moonies meeting where everyone was friendly and he was promised a/the good life. He embraced the love offered by the group and is now a leading member.

    Sound familiar?

    Regarding ancient Greek philosophers, you and I both know that they engaged in sex with many people, and young boys. I was thinking maybe I should molest a young child, after all, if I don’t, I may never know what I am missing.

  18. Mickey mouse Says:

    To follow up on this post my family paid $3000 in an attempt to deprogram my cousin:

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1980/10/25/student-remains-in-unification-church-after/

    Was this the proper thing for my family to do or should they have allowed him to follow the religion that he found most rational?

  19. Snoodickle Says:

    You should have kidnapped him and given him a lobotomy.


  20. Jon, there are big differences between a cult and a normal religion; that’s why our language has different words for them. I am not personally familiar with the Moonies, but I can tell you that cults in general use manipulative strategies like isolating a person from his friends and family (a little like an abusive boyfriend, from what I’ve heard); the words you throw around for religion, such as “brainwashing” (not here, but you’ve said it elsewhere, and I think it’s basically what you mean by “indoctrination” here), actually apply to cults.

    In Christianity, people are free to come or go. Converts aren’t isolated from their family—if anything, the Great Commandment (see above) will call them to spend more time with their family. Christianity, and so the Western culture that it has created, gives great respect to individual conscience, individual reason, and individual freedom—in fact, I would argue that it’s at least partly because of your Western cultural inheritance that you (rightly) disapprove of brainwashing in the first place. When you misdirect that disapproval toward Christianity, you’re sort of trying to cut off the limb you’re sitting on.

    As for Greek philosophers, I think that even the ones who most nearly agree with the pederasty you suggest would also tend to say that it should be more or less monogamous—a special relationship between an older man and a young man (or boy, if you will) whom he mentors. It’s no rebuttal to say that those philosophers (or the Hindus, or the Muslims, or any other group) weren’t right on everything—I agree, they weren’t. I didn’t say they were. The fact remains that the traditions and accumulated collective wisdom of cultures around the world agree with me that hedonism (the sleeping around that you recommend) is not the good life. God intends to give us the much deeper joys of love—a loving marriage, raising and loving children, and ultimately a loving relationship with Him—but hedonism gets in the way.

  21. Mickey Mouse Says:

    First off, I am not sure why you insist on violating your own rules by referring to me by my first name. Please call me Mickey, Mick or Mr. Mouse.

    Second, we only use different terms because people like you don’t wish to be categorized as a cult member. Can you explain how Christianity is not a cult? The definition of cult from the Merriam-Webster dictionary is as follows:

    Cult – 1) formal religious veneration; 2) a system of religious beliefs and ritual; 3) a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; 4) a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator; 5) a great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work

    – Mr. Mouse


  22. Sure, let’s talk about what a cult is.

    As I suggested above, I think a cult is distinguished by various manipulative or otherwise dishonest tactics that make it artificially more successful than it would be if everyone were fairly evaluating its claims about what is true. Tactics can include isolating a person from his family so that he more nearly gets all his information about the world from the cult, or telling him that he has to give his possessions to the cult in order to climb some kind of heavenly corporate ladder. I’m no expert on cults, but I think that’s more or less what a cult is. I think most people use the word “cult” that way.

    “Cult”, like many words, has a number of senses or variations, if you read far enough down the dictionary entry or far enough back in linguistic history. Sure, the word can be used to refer to religion generally. But of course that’s not how you were using it. If it were, you would have been saying nothing; you would have been saying only, in effect, “Religion is religion.”

    So, how would you define “cult”?

  23. Snoodickle Says:

    Is promising an afterlife that does not exist not a manipulative and dishonest tactic? Is predicting a rapture that will not happen not a manipulative and dishonest tactic?

  24. Mickey mouse Says:

    Thank you for your response. I have two questions:

    1) Do all religions go through a cult period before they become religions?

    2) Below I have included a brief description of an organization I have created for this question. Would you consider this organization to be a cult or a religion? What if 1 billion people belonged to this hypothetical organization? What if only 4 people belonged?

    My God is the best God. You have gone down the wrong path and unfortunately you will have to pay for your error. Why won’t you listen to me?

    It’s not to late for you. All you have to do is go to my church, pray to my god and stop living a life of sin. If you follow me lead and the lead of our god, you can reach heaven. Heaven is fantastic.

    In order to join you will have to leave your current religious/Sunday group. Once you join you will be on the correct side, the heaven side. Your old friends who did not convert with you will continue to live a life of sin. You will grow apart from them. You will promise god that you will do your best to convert your old friends, after all, we want our friends to realize the error in their ways.

    I think I forgot to mention donations. We would really love it if you could donate 10% of your income to the church. This will ensure that we have the capital to host a variety of community events so that we can solicit more members. Our religion after all is the only correct answer.

    – Mick


  25. I gave you my definition; what’s yours? (Recall that you’re the one who came in throwing around the word “cult”.)

    I’ll be happy to discuss your goofy “gotcha” hypotheticals—after you give me your definition of “cult”. I won’t just keep answering your questions if you won’t answer mine.

  26. Mickey Mouse Says:

    Accusing me of gotcha hypotheticals? I wasn’t trying to fool you into anything, my intention was clear; in my opinion you are a member of a cult. You were taken advantage of, told some fairy tale, and now you repeat the fairy tale to others. I feel bad for you.

    As for my defintion, I particularly like the definition of cult found at dictionary.com:

    1. a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
    2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
    3. the object of such devotion.

    – Mickey Mouse


  27. That’s basically the same as the other dictionary definition you gave—i.e., that “cult” just means “religion”. In that case, you haven’t actually had anything to say this whole time—when you said “Religion is a cult,” you were only saying “Religion is religion”—which is to say, you were saying nothing at all.

    Your main argument (at odds with your claim that you were saying nothing), “You were taken advantage of, told some fairy tale,” is substantially the same as what you said in your original comment, and I think my original reply amply answered it.


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