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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:38 pm 
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I've read that some types of cadets (and McCain sounds like one of them) were actually gunning for being last in the class, the "goat," a position of honor for mavericks of some sorts. It meant you had pushed to the absolute limits of what was allowed without being expelled or flunking out, and it was a sign of a manly refusal to accept regimentation (or something).

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:39 pm 
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Most of it reeks of resentment - "why's he a hero when I'm not?" The better arguments were towards the end, and they had nothing to do with his time as a POW.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:40 pm 
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That's not a fair potting of Butler's column. He points out that the other POWs suffered as well (quite true), and
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I furthermore believe that having been a POW is no special qualification for being President of the United States. The two jobs are not the same, and POW experience is not, in my opinion, something I would look for in a presidential candidate.

which I don't disagree with at all. But Butler has no complaints about McCain's conduct. The only place where he suggests McCain's time in Hanoi might be a negative factor is this:

Quote:
Most of us who survived that experience are now in our late 60's and 70's. Sadly, we have died and are dying off at a greater rate than our non-POW contemporaries. We experienced injuries and malnutrition that are coming home to roost. So I believe John's age (73) and survival expectation are not good for being elected to serve as our President for 4 or more years.


His actual objections to McCain are the fact that he was a lousy student and a discipline problem at USNA, and has a hot temper. Fair enough, but not POW-related.

But the real kicker is this:
Quote:
For me John represents the entrenched and bankrupt policies of Washington-as-usual. The past 7 years have proven to be disastrous for our country. And I believe John's views on war, foreign policy, economics, environment, health care, education, national infrastructure and other important areas are much the same as those of the Bush administration.


In other words, Butler is a liberal. Again, fair enough, but not POW-related.

Nonetheless, WRT 'criticism' of McCain's conduct as a prisoner, he closes thus:

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Senator John Sidney McCain, III is a remarkable man who has made enormous personal achievements. And he is a man that I am proud to call a fellow POW who "Returned With Honor." That's our POW motto.... I think John Sidney McCain, III is a good man, but not someone I will vote for in the upcoming election to be our President of the United States.


(Note: Butler is incorrect in asserting that McCain turned down the same 'deal' they all did- release or favorable treatment in exchange for treason. McCain specifically, as the son of the American fleet commander, was to be released as a propaganda exercise).


Last edited by solicitr on Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:43 pm 
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Quote:
I've read that some types of cadets (and McCain sounds like one of them) were actually gunning for being last in the class, the "goat,


McCain also was subconsciously (then) rebelling against being expected to follow family tradition to Annapolis and all its regimentation.

BTW, at Annapolis the position is "anchor man". And all his classmates are expected to stand him a drink after graduation.


Last edited by solicitr on Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:44 pm 
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Does your classification of Butler as a dreaded "liberal" somehow diminish his experience with John McCain?

Does your classification of Butler as a dreaded "liberal" somehow minimize his rather disgraceful record at the academy?

If John McCain wanted to rebel against the family traditions, all he had to do was not go to the Academy. Period.

What he did do was waste the valuable money of the US taxpayer farting around for the better part of four years when he should have been learning what he was sent thre for.

You have to wonder if he had paid more attention in his classes, would he have still crashed those several airplanes that he did when he finally obtained his commission?

Where was his sense of patriotism then?

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Last edited by sauronsfinger on Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:46 pm 
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Thanks for the correction, soli. I must have been thinking of West Point, but it sounds as if there was a similar situation at Annapolis.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:47 pm 
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Nothing of the sort, Sauron. Simply that someone who holds liberal views can hardly be expected to vote for a Republican candidate.

(Butler and Mccain are graduates of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, not the United States Military Academy at West Point).


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:49 pm 
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Why do some people believe the best way to negate the points made by others is place a political or philosophical label on the person making the points?

It is fundamentally a lazy and dishonest method of debate.

People with labels that many find loathsome, can have and did have positive ideas. Benito Mussolini created the first super highway in Europe. Does that make those who love expressway driving Fascists?
Does being a Fascist negate the contribution of Mussolini to highway construction and development?

His political party hardly matters in that context. Just as labeling a critic of John McCain as a liberal hardly matters.

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There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers


Last edited by sauronsfinger on Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:55 pm 
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Viewing the Bush administration as a disaster is a thoroughly mainstream belief.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:57 pm 
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I agree that simply placing a label on someone is ineffective method of debate, sf. But I don't see solicitr (with whom I have had more than my share of idealogical differences with) doing that here. He has made a substantial argument, and simply pointed out that someone with the type of political leanings the Butler demonstrates is not likely to vote for someone with John McCain's political leanings. That's quite accurate.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:01 pm 
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I see your point.

However, this is the bio that ran with the Phillip Butler article.

Doctor Phillip Butler is a 1961 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a former light-attack carrier pilot. In 1965 he was shot down over North Vietnam where he spent eight years as a prisoner of war. He is a highly decorated combat veteran who was awarded two Silver Stars, two Legion of Merits, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Heart medals.

After his repatriation in 1973 he earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at San Diego and became a Navy Organizational Effectiveness consultant. He completed his Navy career in 1981 as a professor of management at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He is now a peace and justice activist with Veterans for Peace.

What in there screams out that he is a liberal? The last line perhaps? Are all lovers of peace liberals?

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There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:03 pm 
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Yup! :P ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:06 pm 
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There is nothing in the article that makes me think less of Sen. McCain. It struck me as a fair assessment and no more. Not a hatchet job.

I wonder how many of Mr. McCain's supporters really think that his military experiences "qualify" him to be POTUS? Not many, I would think, except to the extent that they think he was tough and heroic as a POW. That is not a qualification, but it could be a measure of character.

It is not sufficient IMHO, but I can't vote for him anyway.

I am somewhat troubled by the often-mentioned quick temper, though, and I read about this a number of times before this campaign even started. I recall the issue from his earlier attempt, the one when the Rovians slimed him out.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:26 pm 
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You have to wonder if he had paid more attention in his classes, would he have still crashed those several airplanes that he did when he finally obtained his commission?

Where was his sense of patriotism then?


Now you're verging on the offensive, as well as displaying a certain lack of information. Military aviation is a difficult and dangerous business, even in peacetime, and trebly so when based on an aircraft carrier.

McCain twice lost aircraft to *engine failure*. Not his fault. It happens. My own father (a superb pilot) lost one the same way (he nearly drowned, but that's another story). And it's really, really objectionable to fault a pilot for getting clipped by a SAM while flying a daylight-only and relatively slow light bomber like the A-4 over Hanoi, the most heavily air-defended spot on Earth. Papa had the nose of his Skyhawk blown off but managed to stagger it back- and I assure you that getting hit was *no* reflection on his airmanship. Did Butler's GPA keep him from getting shot down?

This is the sort of thinking that gets a brainy nonentity like Wesley Clark promoted to four stars and the NATO command. Give me Norm Swartzkopf (another hothead with modest grades) any day.

If you don't want to vote for somebody based on his college transcript, fine:* But to start using it to beat up on a victim of the chances of war is... well, it makes me so mad I could spit. :x


* but that should also preclude voting for Al Gore.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:27 pm 
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Voting based on grades would preclude many of our past and present leaders. But the US is not renowned for honoring its intellectuals with higher office, so no fear there. :P

Making an "A" and doing the job aren't always the same thing. Making an "A" and just knowing your stuff aren't always the same thing either - you can game exams and ride the curve without learning a damn thing. Been there and done that...on both the gaming and the actually learning stuff sides. Of my graduate school classmates who took undergraduate p-chem, I had one of the worst grades and best commands of the material. Chew on that.

sauronsfinger wrote:
Are all lovers of peace liberals?

Well, disturbingly enough, some would see it that way.

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Last edited by River on Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:32 pm 
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Please do not spit as it tends to clog up my computer. ;)

All I did was ask a question about the training John McCain received and what he learned. From his educational record, we know what type of student he was. That is a matter of public record. He was a lousy student who finished near the bottom of his class. He was a repeated discipline problem involved in many behaviors which reflect poorly on him and his character.
Is is not a fair question to ask if he had paid more attention, if he had learned more, if he had been more on task while the taxpayers were paying for his education and training, perhaps the results would have been better both for McCain and the nation he was in the employ of?

What is so unfair about that?

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:38 pm 
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Let's keep things civil, folks.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:42 pm 
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Flying a single-seat jet has more in common with athletics than academics. College grades don't seem to be a prerequisite for NBA stardom- or flying either. Chuck Yeager never even went to college (he got shot down once, too).



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He was a repeated discipline problem involved in many behaviors which reflect poorly on him and his character.


Does it really? Is character measured simply by being a goody two-shoes? I happen to think a rebellious streak is a good thing- especially in an environment as suffocating as Annapolis.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:46 pm 
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Allow me to ask this - very respectfully.

Let us say you were an attorney suing a doctor for butchering one of your clients. You discover that the doctor only got into medical school because his father was a doctor and an alumnus of the school despite a rather spotty previous academic record. You discover that he graduated in the last 1% of his graduating class in medical school. You discover that he had several instances of causing injury to previous patients.

Would you try to find a way to introduce this record of information in the trial proceedings?

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There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:54 pm 
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Your analogy breaks down in a couple of spots, SF.

1) Medical school transcripts should be equated to McCain's record in flight school, not at the Academy. I doubt any judge would allow your doctor's undergraduate transcript in- and even the med school transcript would only come in if you could show a connection between the coursework and the botched procedure.

2)
Quote:
You discover that he had several instances of causing injury to previous patients.
Both Mccain's precious accidents were caused by unavoidable engine failure, nothing he caused.

3) You seem to be equating getting hit in battle with botching an operation through lack of skill. It doesn't work that way.


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