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Look Out– He’s Got a Lame-ometer

Yesterday’s ODE commentary from Bradley, wherein he takes the ROTC protest to task, here.

Okay, but I think he may have missed some points.

1) It is abundantly apparent that the protestors wished to be arrested for the purpose of airing their views in a newspaper headline, which they accomplished at slight taxpayer expense but without inflicting violence on themselves or others.

2) Being university types, the protestors situated their event on campus grounds, quite possibly because a) this increases the likelihood that the Emerald will cover the story thoroughly, and/or b) it’s more of a central location to the parties concerned than the Federal Building downtown.

3) There aren’t that many places on campus where the presence of fifty people would be seen as anything out of the ordinary, let alone a matter of trespassing. Sure, they could have clogged up Johnson Hall– but, really, that’s been done.

4) By the logic of Bradley’s commentary, if the protest had been staged at Johnson Hall, it would be anti-administration; and if it had been staged at the Federal Building, it would have been anti-federalism. There isn’t any claim made in the article that the writer knows the disposition of the protestors– it’s entirely within reason, and statistically probable, that some of those in attendance have loved ones in the service. This opens up the question of what is meant by the term “anti-military”: does it refer to a hatred of those in uniform, to the opinion that there are some problems more amenably solved than through the imperilment of those same servicemembers, to some other notion within a wide range of possible perspectives, or to all of the above? We can safely assume that, whatever it means, no one who has loved ones in the military is opposed to the welfare of those loved ones or those loved ones’ comrades in arms.

5) It’s easy enough for some to recall the civil rights movement as a historical event fixed neatly within the same decade that gave us the walk on the moon, and to think of it as a decisive moment later universally understood as the triumph of absolute right over absolute wrong. A closer look informs us that a lot of people disagreed at the time– whether the movement should be happening at all, whether those behind it had laudible goals, whether those goals were acheivable, how exactly to pursue them– and there are still any number of people disagreeing over the peripherals of that debate. I’ve had occasion to speak with people– living, breathing Americans in the twenty-first century at points north and south in our far-flung Republic– who feel quite strongly that the position of absolute right did not win out. By that I mean that there are people who perceive the civil rights movement to have hardly begun to occur, as well as people who perceive that it has but who are not at all happy about it. Just a heads-up to anyone reading who thinks that all the matters of right and wrong have been ironed out for us by previous generations.

6) There are people who think that this war is a good one, and they make a number of arguments to support their position. Among them, some define the terms of the argument in terms of right and wrong– the victory of freedom over terror, etc. Then there are people who think this war is a bad one, and conversely they make a number of arguments too. Not surprisingly, many of these arguments are also grounded in absolute notions of right and wrong– the reprehesibility of government officials who make misleading claims that eventuate in the exacerbated misery of a nation on the other side of the world where we need to be making friends among potential enemies instead of the opposite, playing fast and loose with the integrity of our military and the lives of our soldiers and in the process rendering our nation ever more vulnerable to new threats. All these people are Americans. None of them are joking.

  1. Timothy says:

    Well, I try to stay on top of the spam manually as much as possible.

  2. bryan says:

    Figured it was something like that. It’s funny that you took those posts down, Tim, because now my comment looks sort of nosensical.

  3. Timothy says:

    I hope that answers your question.

  4. Timothy says:

    The blacklist is too large to be updated because of the way blacklist appends to the SQL database where MT lives and the max packet size on the shared server at total choice that hosts the OC site.


  5. bryan says:

    Okay does anyone have any idea what the hell is going on here with the gnomes?

  6. Andy D says:

    The Emerald isn’t American, because they are joking (having this guy write for them…)

    I do think that those who protest the war should protest the people who gave the orders for the war. I tell you what, I don’t even have the power to decide when I want to eat in the military most of the time, let alone go home or take a day off!

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