Bart served with separation papers

The e-mail came from a senior, long-time pillar:

Goodbye, I've had enough with your adulation of the military.

It was like being served with divorce papers.

You defended your pro-military record (of which I'm well aware).
However, you characterized the military as "those who keep us safe."

Yes, I compare them to cops and firemen and traffic-accident volunteers.
Are there bad cops, bad fireman and greedy traffic-accident volunteers?
Sure, but that doesn't mean we have to hate all of them.

Am I defending Bush and Halliburton?
Am I defending the Carlyle Group and the BFEE?
OR am I defending the guys who are dying without getting a piece of the pie?

When folks like Doug (formerly of The Daily Brew) answer you back on your
"soldiers are inanimate objects," your frame of reference shifted to "convince me
we don't need a military" and on to other points that have nothing to do with one another.

That's easy to explain.
If every soldier questions every order - we have no military.
That's not changing the subject
That's reminding people why every order can't be questioned by every soldier

I noticed that you did something similar in the discussions we had about torture, when the scenario
you originally posited morphed back and forth depending on the argument you needed to make.

In both cases, the argument never got started.
When I say "shooting a baby is worse than bombing a building," I expected 99 percent
of people to agree with that so we could further advance the debate.   But noooooooooooo.

When people refuse to concede the obvious (obvious because a baby cannot pose a military threat
the way a military building can) the debate never got off the ground and we stayed stuck at Square One.

In the torture debate, I had to fight for days or weeks to get the first dove to concede that they MIGHT
allow a single, tiny slap, if it was soft enough, to save 10,000,000 innocent lives from the H-bomb.

We should have gotten past that in TEN SECONDS so we could get on to the real debate,
but we stayed mired in semantics until the debate died of mutual frustration.

Clearly you think you're right on these subjects, to the point that you will play deceptive semantic games
in order to defend your position, and ignore or reduce to a caricature the valid counterpoints being made
by those who disagree with you.

We were unable to build a bridge of communication - so that proves I argue in bad faith?
Just now, you listed one example and I answered it.

I felt the argument couldn't begin until we got in the same time zone.
In an effort to get us each in the same time zone, I attempted to draw lines that would
give you (or anyone) the opportunity to say, "I can go here, but I can't go there."

But we never got that far.
I couldn't hardly convince anybody that 10 million murders was worse than a slap.
The doves were too entrenched in their position - so 10M people die for principle?

I feel like I've been answering the same question 500 times but we must be speaking
different languages, because how can anyone equate crying babies with enemy soldiers?
If I can't get anyone to admit that killing babies is worse than taking out military targets
then we're not able to proceed with the debate.

If you can't see the difference between a baby and a military building then I
understand why you can't see a difference between the BFEE and the troops.

But, ...being a logical person,
 ...I must allow for the possibility that you are right and I'm just plain crazy.
My "fuck the troops" mail greatly outnumbers the pro-troops mail.

It's too bad, too.  I really looked (past tense) forward to meeting you in person someday.
Best of luck with the web site, and best wishes for continued good health for as long as possible.


After all the years and all the donations, our difference of opinion on this one subject
has changed me from someone you wanted to meet to someone you won't speak to.


Once when we talked, you told me you couldn't afford HBO, yet you sent some large
checks to  and I was flattered that the page meant that much to you.

You know that I'm very much against Bush and his senseless, bloody war.

Thanks for the support you gave.

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