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Questions for the NY-26 candidates: Foreign Policy

There are a number of questions I have for the candidates in the NY-26 special election race, and I'm sure you do as well. Rather than sit back and wait for position statements, I thought I would just start asking questions.

I plan to ask about a question per week until election day.

Today's topic: Foreign policy, particularly as it relates to the use of the U.S. military abroad. Each of the candidates were given four days to formulate a reply. 

Below is the question (which was a bit longer than I imagine most will be). Because of the length, and the length of answers, the question and answers appear after the jump.

The answers are presented in the order received, Ian Murphy, Kathy Hochul and Jane Corwin. We got no response from the Jack Davis campaign.

The question:

What is your position on our current military operations?

On Afghanistan: Do you think this is a winnable war? How long should the U.S. stay in Afghanistan? What is our ongoing obligation to the people of Afghanistan?

On Iraq: Did you support the invasion of Iraq? Do you support continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq? What would be your plan for disengaging the U.S. military from Iraq, if at all?

On Libya: What was Obama’s Constitutional/legal authority for engaging in military action in Libya? What should the U.S. policy be toward supporting the rebels in Libya? Should we send troops, advisors or arms to the rebels?

If you are fortunate enough to become a representative, what would your policy be on future U.S. military appropriations? – increase, decrease, keep the same … 

Ian Murphy's answer:

What is your position on our current military operations?

All of them? It's getting hard to keep track.

Some military operations are good, like aiding in Japanese tsunami relief, but most strike me as the counterproductive actions of a waning empire, which is ruled by a corrupt and wealthy elite (see the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, and the drone strikes in Pakistan,Yemen and Somalia).

Our current, aggressive military operations are guided by shortsighted greed. We've known since Eisenhower's “Military Industrial Complex” final address that war would be foisted upon the American people—under various and questionable pretexts—just so the business of war would boom. And it has.

A conservative estimate by former Chief Economist of the World Bank Joseph Stiglitz pegs the total costs of Iraq and Afghanistan at $3 trillion. This is $3 trillion in debt our children will have to repay. This is $3 trillion spent destabilizing the world, making us less safe, and further perpetuating the war economy.

Again and again, we've been rooked into conflict after conflict. Our kids are conned into killing and dying for oil profit, for jet engine profit, for base construction profit, for the profit Halliburton makes selling cases of Coke to the Pentagon for $45 a pop, etc.

So my position on our current military operations is that most of them are a mechanism by which war profiteers rob the American people blind.

On Afghanistan: Do you think this is a winnable war? How long should the U.S. stay in Afghanistan? What is our ongoing obligation to the people of Afghanistan?

In a conventional military sense, it is not winnable. Battling insurgents in the mountains of Afghanistan has been a costly and pointless undertaking, historically. Every day we're there, we breed more enemies. And the more enemies we have, the longer we stay.

But some kind of victory is possible. An Afghanistan lifted out of abject poverty, which breeds religious tyranny, incubates terrorism and fosters rampant misogyny, would be a resounding victory. However, the road to that victory leads our troops back home.

Our obligation to the people of Afghanistan is the same obligation we have to our own people—to maintain a policy of diplomatic pressure, passive exertion of cultural influence, and wise economic support—in conjunction with the international community—to ensure a prosperous and less dangerous Afghanistan.

I should note that maintaining reliable intelligence efforts in the area is smart policy while we work toward the above.

On Iraq: Did you support the invasion of Iraq? Do you support continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq?  What would be your plan for disengaging the U.S. military from Iraq, if at all?

No. No. Trucks, airplanes & ships.

On Libya: What was Obama’s Constitutional/legal authority for engaging in military action in Libya? What should the U.S. policy be toward supporting the rebels in Libya? Should we send troops, advisors or arms to the rebels?

Well, the Constitution states that declaring war is the responsibility of Congress alone. But there's also the Constitution's Supremacy Clause, which gives high authority to treaties, so it could be argued that the prevention of genocide in Benghazi falls under our obligations to NATO. However, our international obligations should not usurp the power allotted to Congress in the Constitution—and make no mistake, the actions in Libya are the actions of war.

We should support the rebels with “Support the Rebels” bumper stickers. However, if that ridiculous suggestion is not adequate and our allies are determined to fund a revolution against Qaddafi, we should fulfill our obligations—or reevaluate them. But all efforts should be extremely limited in scope and duration.

Frankly, readers of The Batavian, I'm quite torn on Libya. We're engaged in far too many military operations as it is. On the other hand, if our quick action truly prevented the slaughter of tens of thousands in Benghazi, that seems morally righteous to me. That said, we can't always act as the world's police force.

Well, we've already sent the CIA, funds and weapons. Should we have? No, we should not take the lead on this thing. We should also be very wary of mission creep. We've seen the justification for the Iraq War change from one lie to another. As George Bush put it: “Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

Our military can be a force for good. I'm hesitantly OK with using our military power to save lives. The hesitance comes from our inability to predict the resulting obligations and commitments of an action.

More fundamentally, our actions in Libya highlight our hypocrisy. We actively support brutal regimes in Saudi Arabia & Yemen. The people in the Middle East and Africa see this and question our motives in Libya. A more prudent strategy would be to encourage democracy, civil liberties, and economic freedom in troubled regions of the world with a preemptive, non-violent approach.

Our interventionist policies have included CIA training of Osama bin Laden, arming Saddam Hussein and, as recently as 2009, sending U.S. Senators to discuss selling Qaddafi military hardware. It's time we used our heads and stopped fighting monsters of our own creation.
 
If you are fortunate enough to become a representative, what would your policy be on future U.S. military appropriations? – increase, decrease, keep the same … 

Drastically decrease. We spend double what the next top ten nations spend combined on defense, and that money should go toward rebuilding America.

George Washington warned against funding and deploying standing armies around the world. He realized a long time ago that the business of military empire is a) very expensive and b) largely counterproductive. We have a war economy and ethos. It's unsustainable. Just as it was in Rome. An empire is like a balloon. If it gets too big, it will pop.

The more we spend on maintaining our empire, the less we have to invest in our own country—on our own people, our bridges roads and schools. War creates great suffering at home and abroad, for the profit of the very few. We need to reevaluate our priorities, and decide on a smarter, more ethical and democratic future.

Kathy Hochul's answer:

Q: On Afghanistan: Do you think this is a winnable war? How long should the U.S. stay in Afghanistan? What is our ongoing obligation to the people of Afghanistan.

A: After nearly one decade at war, it is time for the U.S. to draw up a clear exit plan.  While we cannot simply disregard all the work that has been done over the last 10 years, the financial costs of our mission in Afghanistan has been far too high – costing the United States nearly $350 billion. We must begin the transfer of full operational control to the people of Afghanistan.

Q: On Iraq: Did you support the invasion of Iraq? Do you support continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq?  What would be your plan for disengaging the U.S. military from Iraq, if at all?

A: I did not support the invasion of Iraq.  Last year, I supported the end of combat operations in the nation and I currently support the plan to end all military operations by the end of 2011. 

Q: On Libya: What was Obama’s Constitutional/legal authority for engaging in military action in Libya? What should the U.S. policy be toward supporting the rebels in Libya? Should we send troops, advisors or arms to the rebels?

A: The situation in Libya poses a grave threat to human life.  I stated early on that Moammar Ghadafi should be removed from power, but not by U.S. military force.  We cannot afford to lead another war, which is why I supported the transfer of operational control to NATO and believe that we must continue to develop a plan that works as part of a much larger coalition. 

Q: If you are fortunate enough to become a representative, what would your policy be on future U.S. military appropriations? – increase, decrease, keep the same …

A: We must continue to protect the United States against all threats against us.  While I do support cuts to unnecessary programs like the new F-35 fighter jet engine under Pentagon recommendations, we must provide the military with the resources necessary to protect the American people.

Jane Corwin's answer:

What is your position on our current military operations?

As the daughter of a former Air Force Reservist, I have a deep respect and appreciation for all our men and women in uniform, and if honored to be WNY’s next representative in Congress would do everything I can to support those who proudly serve our nation. I recently attended a deployment ceremony for about 70 troops in Amherst and it was one of the most humbling experiences I’ve ever been a part of. I would take my responsibility as a federal official very seriously and would vote to bring our troops home as soon as the generals on the ground say it is possible.

On Afghanistan: Do you think this is a winnable war? How long should the U.S. stay in Afghanistan? What is our ongoing obligation to the people of Afghanistan?

Yes, it is a winnable war. We need to listen to our generals on the ground to determine when our mission is complete and we have secured freedom and liberty for the Afghan people and ensured that Afghanistan will not return to a safe haven for terrorists.

On Iraq: Did you support the invasion of Iraq? Do you support continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq?  What would be your plan for disengaging the U.S. military from Iraq, if at all?

I did support the decision to invade Iraq. Our men and women serving overseas deserve our support and the resources they need to be safe and successfully do their job. As with Afghanistan, I believe that we must listen to our generals on the ground as to when our servicemembers can come home.

On Libya: What was Obama’s Constitutional/legal authority for engaging in military action in Libya? What should the U.S. policy be toward supporting the rebels in Libya? Should we send troops, advisors or arms to the rebels?

I was deeply disappointed that the president did not consult with Congress before issuing orders for military action against Libya. The president needed to define the purpose of our mission beforehand and the threat posed to our national security. There were no public hearings or discussions and thus taxpayers and servicemembers – not to mention many Members of Congress – did not know what the president’s objective was until military action had already been taken. Now we are deeply involved in another conflict overseas and there is not an end in sight. The president and his Administration must clearly outline what their plan is for sending more troops, arming the rebels (or anyone else), etc. If Congress was consulted before military action was taken, we would not be in the situation we are now.

If you are fortunate enough to become a representative, what would your policy be on future U.S. military appropriations? – increase, decrease, keep the same …

We need to find efficiencies and savings wherever we can to address the long term spending pressures our nation faces.  However, the fundamental priority of any government is to protect its citizens and I will fight to make sure our military remains the best-trained, and best-equipped in the world.

UPDATE Wednesday, 9:34 a.m.: Adding response from Jack Davis:

What is your position on our current military operations?

On Afghanistan: Do you think this is a winnable war? How long should the U.S. stay in Afghanistan? What is our ongoing obligation to the people of Afghanistan?

As a former Marine and officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, I say it is time to find a way out of Afghanistan. Our soldiers and Marines are being killed and maimed in an endless conflict.

 

On Iraq: Did you support the invasion of Iraq? Do you support continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq?  What would be your plan for disengaging the U.S. military from Iraq, if at all?

The invasion of Iraq was based on false premises and I did not support it at the time. It is time to bring our troops home.

On Libya: What was Obama’s Constitutional/legal authority for engaging in military action in Libya? What should the U.S. policy be toward supporting the rebels in Libya? Should we send troops, advisors or arms to the rebels.

The Constitution is clear: Congress has the power to declare war, not the president.   By dropping bombs on Libya, President Obama has declared war.  We should not be expending our airmen’s blood or our treasure in Libya without Congressional approval.

 

If you are fortunate enough to become a representative, what would your policy be on future U.S. military appropriations?

We need to end our foreign entanglements and bring our troops home from around the world.  We are spending billions to station troops in places that haven’t seen hostilities in over 60 years.  We no longer fear Soviet tanks rolling through the Fulda Gap, but we still have troops stationed in Germany to stop them. We can no longer afford to foot the bill as the policeman of the world when Washington is planning to cut health care for our seniors and Americans’ needs are ignored.

william tapp
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how about stoping or at least cuting back on Foreign aid, we need it here more, we have people in need very badley.
Daniel Jones
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Howard - Could you include a question for Mr. Murphy, and all the candidates, on improving Veterans benefits in the upcoming rounds? We have many veterans living in our area, I know a few who read The Batavian and I think they would appreciate the answers. I would especially like to hear Mr. Murphy's answer after he expressed his feelings about veterans/soldiers in his blog. http://www.buffalobeast.com/126/Fuck.the.troops.Ian.Murphy.html
Jeremiah Pedro
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I agree with William on this one. The people right here need help. There is still a lot that is needed to be done in Louisiana. As for the answers given by the candidates, @ Ian Murphy -Do you have any hard facts to back up your claims? @ Corwin - Thank you for your respect and support, however your answers seemed to be the standard cookie cutter answers. I think I'm leaning a little closer to Kathy Hochul.
John Roach
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I have to guess Davis doesn't think responding to the Batavian is worth his time, which has been his attitude towards rural areas.
George Richardson
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There you have it folks, Republican talking points, Democratic talking points and well thought out, well researched, very articulate, reasonable and intelligent moral honesty. You can sort out who is who, but only one candidate will have your best interest at heart, unless you are a millionaire or billionaire and they were scarcer than hens teeth, in Batavia, the last time I checked. Iraq was based on lies. Afganistan was based on corporate greed and a good deal of flat out stupidity. Libya is justified up to a point and the status quo will always give you more of the same or much worse. Congressional souls were sold long ago, at least for the few who ever possessed one. The times they are a changin' unless you like indentured servitude and the company store.
George Richardson
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John, don't take it personally. Jack Davis hates everyone and you better stay the hell off of his lawn.
Daniel Jones
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George - Afghanistan was based on an attack on the United States. The Taliban, who was the ruling government in Afghanistan was harboring a terrorist organization known as Al-Qaeda. There was a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon on Setember 11th, 2001 by Al-Qaeda. I may have only been 13 but I remember it. Do you? I agree that for years the mission in Afghanistan drifted into Mission Creep en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_creep) but the purpose for the invasion was unchanged. I agree that Iraq was based on faulty intelligence, but you cannot say the same about Afghanistan.
George Richardson
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Foreign Aid is less than 1% of the budget. It's worth every penny on the tax dollar and that's pretty much exactly what it costs. When you see a bloated Biafran baby starving to death with flys crawling in and out of its nostrils do you pinch that penny in your pocket and say: "Yes!?" I'm sure some people do, but I don't believe the people of Batavia do. If I did, I would disassociate myself toot sweet (whatever the hell that means). You don't have to know what something means to like the way it sounds. Toot sweet, toot sweet, toot sweet, I like that. It's like music to my ears.
George Richardson
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No Dan, I don't remember that. I remember three planes hijacked by Islamic radicals. And I remember a half dozen attacks by domestic terrorists born, raised and educated in the United States of America. Why didn't we try to wipe ourselves off the face of the earth? Well, at this point it's a rather moot question because that is exactly what we are trying to do. The American Taliban (right wing Christan Jihadists) want to go see Jesus and the sooner the better. I'll pass on fantasyland.
Daniel Jones
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George - ....and we hunt down and capture those terrorists, like Timothy McVeigh and the unibomber. Al-Qaeda is not a fantasy, it's a real terrorist organization that planned and executed the attack. To say otherwise is to live in a dream world. They were being harbored by a foriegn government, so we removed the government. I agree that we need to start withdrawing from Afghanistan but the cause for the invasion was clear.
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@ Jeremiah Pedro. Google is your friend.
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@ Daniel Jones Of course I would improve veterans benefits. When I'm not writing satire, which reflects the brutal way our country has treated our vets (wars based on lies, Walter Reed, rampant PTSD, homelessness, etc.), I'm actually a nice guy.
George Richardson
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Dan, "we hunt down and capture those terrorists, like Timothy McVeigh and the unibomber" and Major Forthoodmess and insane brain shooter Jed Jughead and Bush family friend Osama Bin Laden. That's why we drop very expensive bombs that make poofs of dust when they hit the dirt. Dick Cheney is still rubbing his hands together over that deal and Osama isn't living in a cave, he's in a Penthouse Suite facing the Potomic River. Imho.
Daniel Jones
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George - Oooh a conspiracy. I have no qualms that the Bush administration was inherently corrupt. That being said, there was a clear justification for the invasion of Afghanistan and for our presence in that nation. I agree that we need to withdraw, now that the troop surge has worked and hand control over to the Afghan government.
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I only see one of the four candidates actually here responding to comments and addressing the issues. To me, that says a lot about the character of the candidates and where their real concerns are.
Daniel Jones
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Ian - Thanks for your fast response. At what point in "F... the Troops" does the satire end? You said the following: "As a society, we need to discard our blind deference to military service. There’s nothing admirable about volunteering to murder people. There’s nothing admirable about being rooked by obvious propaganda. There’s nothing admirable about doing what you’re told if what you’re told to do is terrible." "Well, guess what, kids? The Iraq debacle is a pointless bloodbath—and every time you applaud those who “bravely” fill that tub, you’re soaking in it." To me, that does not sound like satire. When soldiers sign up to join the military, whatever their cause, they are enlisted to serve our prevailing national interest. Soldiers are not policy makers, they cannot control the policies they enforce, they follow orders. I think that bravery in the heat of combat, even when I do not agree with the mission, is honorable none the less. They also act in capacities outside of Iraq and Afghanistan and are an integral part of emergency response (natural disasters) and take part in various humanitarian missions. They are outrageously underpaid (in my opinion at least) and work under circumstances that most people cannot fathom. I know some who serve when they could be making much more money elsewhere. Why do they serve? To defend this country. I'm not saying that every soldier is good. When someone breaks the law, be it the Geneva convention or the Uniform Military Code of Justice, they should be put on trial. If breaking the law is wide-spread then we should do what we can to end that breaking of the law. However, to simply lump every soldier who serves in Iraq and Afghanistan as a murderer defies logic. I think you do a disservice to people who want to see legitimate third party political action, your deference to 'satire' isn't really funny. You are using humor as a shield to deflect criticism for what you have written. This is the sort of thing that makes people not take third party candidates seriously. I'm a huge fan of satire, I love the Colbert Report and the Daily Show, but everything has a limit. If it's all satire, then say that you didn't really mean any of what you said there. If it wasn't all satire, then own up to your opinions. Stop using comedy as fallout shelter. This is a race for the house of representatives, not a night at the comedy club.
George Richardson
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I don't know why people couldn't have just listened to John Lennon and Yoko Oko and given peace a chance. I was totally convinced after Viet Nam that America was going to get it together. Man, was I deluded but I'm not anymore. Our Government lies to us because we can't handle the truth. We are placated with 175-5 million cable channels of banal nonsense plus Fox deception and they now have us fighting each other instead of banding like a pack of wild dogs and eating the men that feed us misinformation. It would be fine after it was all composted and there would be a lot of it, but no one would miss them. "All we are saying, is give peace a chance." If I had some LSD right now, I would take it. If you have some, take it right now. "All we are saying, is give peace a chance." This goes out to all of our fine men and women serving in the military for whatever reason you went into the military. "All we are saying, is give peace a chance." Peace man, Namaste, Have a great trip and keep on truckin'. This band sounds nice, is that Jerry Garcia the Ice Cream guy?
Jeff Allen
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"If it's all satire, then say that you didn't really mean any of what you said there. If it wasn't all satire, then own up to your opinions. Stop using comedy as fallout shelter. This is a race for the house of representatives, not a night at the comedy club." Ian Murphy officially owned
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@ Daniel The satire ends at this serious point: We shouldn't blindly support military service or the troops that carry out that service. It was both a satirical piece and a serious essay. So, clearly, some of the over the top language was meant to reflect the way our leaders fucked the troops. But the serious point still remains. I don't think following bad orders is praiseworthy. You can disagree. But if the U.S. House of Representatives isn't a comedy club, how do you explain Michele Bachmann? How do you explain the painful pandering, and hollow positions of Jane Corwin? @Jeff I'm the only non-millionaire in the race. I'm owned by no one.
Ian Murphy
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@ Daniel, one more thing: As my answers to Howard Owens make abundantly clear, the military can and should act as a force of good.
Ed Gentner
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Ian Murphy wrote "F*** the Troops".....George W. Bush and Dick Cheney with the help of Republicans and Democrats actually did f*** the Troops. The response from either the Democrat with a get along to go along answer or the Republican who cheerfully spouts the party line "of course we can win" is about what I would expect. I confess am a bit disappointed that a response from Jack Davis has not been posted, however I do know that he has long opposed open ended military adventures and occupations. It has been one of the main elements of what he has campainged on and has listed the end of using the U.S. military as the global cop in his campaign literature that I have read. I have talked with Jack Davis on numerous occassions and have always found him consistant on the issue of using the military as means of foreign policy. One only has to look at the present situation the Bush/Cheney wars have delivered. Iran is now a dominant regional power well on the way to developing it's own nuclear program and Afghanistan is back to square one. Afghanistan has been the choke point on the silk road long before the U.S. and will be long after. The great armies of empires have all tried and failed as the natives crawl back into their holes making it a death by a thousand cuts. The opportunity has passed and Bush/Cheney looked elsewhere knowing the folly that is Afghanistan and sold the country on Iraq with lies built on lies....Uncle Joe Stalin, Pol Pot, and Adolf must have wept tears of joy over such folly... So ask yourself if you must, Who F***** our Troops? Then go back and examine the candidates positions and all of their answers. I believe you will find as I did, neither the Democrat or Republican offer more of the same...I stand by Jack Davis and an indepedent candidate running on the Tea Party line.
Bea McManis
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Somehow I knew you would answer for Jack (MIA) Davis. You are running your own shadow campaign.
Daniel Jones
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Edmund - Jack Davis never responded to Howard. Read what Howard wrote. I understand that you are just defending your candidate, and in this case, it sounds like Jack Davis is something of a friend to you. Defending your friends is honorable. That being said, Jack Davis needs to step up to the plate and put his positions out there for the press and the public himself.
bud prevost
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Ian Murphy Said " Frankly, readers of The Batavian, I'm quite torn on Libya. We're engaged in far too many military operations as it is. On the other hand, if our quick action truly prevented the slaughter of tens of thousands in Benghazi, that seems morally righteous to me. That said, we can't always act as the world's police force." That last line says volumes. As far as "comedy club", Dan, we'll let the senate have Al Franken all to themselves. That he is a US senator is the funniest phucking joke I've ever seen in government. "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and darn it, people like me"- Stuart Smalley, D-MN
bud prevost
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Ian Murphy Said " Frankly, readers of The Batavian, I'm quite torn on Libya. We're engaged in far too many military operations as it is. On the other hand, if our quick action truly prevented the slaughter of tens of thousands in Benghazi, that seems morally righteous to me. That said, we can't always act as the world's police force." That last line says volumes. As far as "comedy club", Dan, we'll let the senate have Al Franken all to themselves. That he is a US senator is the funniest phucking joke I've ever seen in government. "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and darn it, people like me"- Stuart Smalley, D-MN
George Richardson
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Ed, remember, when the race is over "You're fired!" now grab the vac and clean out the limo. "Jack Davis hates me too." I'm going to have to start making death bed phonecalls to my 250 plus relatives in Batavia who have mostly forgotten I exist. Ian's not a fraud, please vote for him, cough, hack, loogie, "Oh my god what was that thing that just struck my face?" "Nuttin' honey just a bug, hold still I got it." It's my last wish after one more month in Vegas baby! Ian will spend his pay wisely after he earns it. The other candidates have already spent your money, before you earned it. On their fingernails, toe nails, spas, junkets and spray on tanning solution. What were you thinking Jack? Blue toenails?
George Richardson
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"We can't always act as the world's police force" Bud, do you believe we can and should? If you do why aren't we doing more to help Haiti and Japan? Which side are you on? Which side are you on? This message board stuff is so ambiguous even though I always know what I'm trying to say. But, I have my own language that only I understand, sometimes.
Ed Gentner
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Ok Bea now that you can predict what I write, would you be so kind as to help me out with tonights Mega Million numbers.... Daniel, Jack has put his positions out there for the press. The response by the local media focuses mainly on his self-financing past and present campaigns and ignores the message...Just as they will focus on Ian's mode of dress and his prank call to the lunatic Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin while totaly ignoring whatever real message he attempts to convey...my guess Davis is going to make mass ad buys, TV ads, mailers and door to door canvasing to get his message out. Personally I would like to see a Lincoln-Douglas for of debate with all of the candidates spelling out in detail what they will bring to the office. It is no secret that I am a Jack Davis supporter, nad have been since the day I read about how he was excluded from a Republican fundraiser that he had spent several thousand dollar for a table for Cheney held at Kleinhans several years back....Not only was he excluded, he was made to stand across the street. I looked up the number for his comapny in Akron "I Squared R Elements" and spoke to Jack for the better part of an hour and a half when the battery on my phone started to fade. I asked him to consider running against Tom Reynolds as a Democrat, it took Jack several weeks and a good deal of thought for him to register as a Democrat and run. I believed then as I do today Jack Davis will best serve the interests of our district and of our country. I don't expect you will change your minds and support Davis, I do ask you to take the time to read what he has proposed on a range of issues that will effect you, me, your children and grandchildren.
George Richardson
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Bud, That was a skit. What has Al Franken done since he has been in the Senate that irritates you more than Norm Coleman irritated me? Let it go and I'll buy the next pitcher of beer or ice cream cone. My wife doesn't know why I let politics affect me, I don't know either except that I care enough that I can't block it out no matter how hard I try. I think I'm already a Libtard and I want the medal Obamasama promised me, they're out of purple hearts so I chose pink elephants. I love them, they never forget and they won't let me forget either.
George Richardson
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Where is that like button? Me likey.
Dave Olsen
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Thank you Howard for allowing the Batavian as an open forum for candidates. Thanks Mr. Murphy for the actual engagement with commenters. I had decided that I would not vote in this particular election. However, each and every day that goes by I am more impressed by Ian Murphy and what he stands for. Excellent answers, sir. I understood your point in the F the troops article, although I didn't agree with all of it and thought the choice of a title was not so great. Anyway, the distasteful attack ads from the other 3 have turned me completely off of them. I'm thinkin' I may just show up and vote. Good Luck to you, Ian Murphy.
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George: it's "tout de suite" ; French for "at once". Not correcting, just trying to help, Buddy. Oh yeah, I saw Osama bin Laden buying a falafel at Wegman's last year.
Jeff Allen
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Ian, my comment has nothing to do with loyalty, you were owned by Daniel for highlighting the hypocrisy between your article and your answers to Howard. I read the whole article, there is no way you can reconcile the two, even behind the cloak of satire.
Jeremiah Pedro
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@ Ian I could google the information, and already had before I asked the question. However I didn't ask where I could find the information on my own, I asked what hard facts you had to support your statements. Your so called satire makes you look like a complete D bag. Maybe you could go take a tour of the VA hospitals in Batavia and Buffalo. Not to try to sway your opinion but to educate you. The majority of veterans receiving services from the VA are still veterans from wars other than the most recent ones. There are WWII veterans and Korean War veterans and Vietnam war veterans. These men and women many of whom did NOT volunteer but were drafted. Yes Ian I'm sure your aware that the draft was in existence up until 1973 when the all volunteer armed force was established. I think you owe a lot of men and women an apology.
Brandon Burger
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I wouldn't call the contentious article that Ian Murphy wrote three years ago a piece of satire; I would call it a provocation. "Fuck the Troops" and the entire opening is simply a provocation designed to call attention to the content of the article. It is purposely inflammatory and he calls attention to that fact at the beginning of the piece; he asks if it bothers the reader and why. That bit of self-consciousness leads into the real point of the piece, which is about how we as a society have come to worship at the altar of 'the Troops", raising them above the situations at hand, and how that worship has prevented us from asking difficult questions about foreign policy and defense spending. I think Ian Murphy is absolutely correct, but a short essay on a largely satirical website cannot do the topic justice. It's too bad. Instead of provoking a thoughtful discussion, "Fuck the Troops" is being wielded like a club to level ad hominem tu quoque attacks on Ian Murphy. I haven't heard one critique leveled against Murphy's stated foreign policy positions that didn't involve a faux-indignant return to "Fuck the Troops." Self-righteous distaste over something someone wrote three years ago does not invalidate statements they make today - especially when the self-righteous distaste was misguided from the start.
Daniel Jones
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"It's too bad. Instead of provoking a thoughtful discussion, "Fuck the Troops" is being wielded like a club to level ad hominem tu quoque attacks on Ian Murphy. I haven't heard one critique leveled against Murphy's stated foreign policy positions that didn't involve a faux-indignant return to "Fuck the Troops." Self-righteous distaste over something someone wrote three years ago does not invalidate statements they make today - especially when the self-righteous distaste was misguided from the start." Ian Murphy veils his opinions in satire and then when called out on his opinions shields himself in the armor of 'humor'. The selections that I quoted at the top from "F... The Troops" were not from the beginning of the article, they were from the middle and towards the end. He did say that the opening paragraph was satire but after that he was not clear. He said himself he does not find volunteering for military service to be honorable during these conflicts, but after joking around about wounded soldiers 'cool robotic limbs' I have to wonder if he knows what honor even is. I bring up "F... The Troops" because I believe it gives us an introspect not only into Ian Murphy the candidate but also Ian Murphy the man. He does not appear apologetic nor has he claimed that he has matured since the article. Every one of us has said and done things that we all regret. Heck, I know I've done and said my fair share of dumb things but when I've been wrong I've apologized for it and tried to improve because of it. He does not regret mocking those who serve, even in jest, he stands by it. That disturbs me as a voter and as an American. Not all jokes are funny. Jeremiah is right, he owes some people a major apology.
Daniel Jones
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Shorter of what I said: It's not that I cannot come up with some analysis and am not capable of having a discussion on his foriegn policy ideas, it's because of "F... The Troops" that I don't even know where to begin. His views are tainted by his constantly wrapping everything he says in some shroud of hateful 'satire' so it makes serious conversation on his ideas impossible.
Jeremiah Pedro
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@ Brandon My comment toward Ian were not attacks. As a prospective member of congress I need to know that Ian would be able to go to bat for veterans when it comes down to others wanting to slash benefits earned. Further more his response to my asking him for facts to back up his claims in his original post was a brush off. Ian wants my vote he has to earn it and so far he is coming up short. I want all of these candidates to remember you work for us the taxpayers. You answer to us. You want to brush people off or belittle a portion of the population based on their status as veterans well then you shouldn't be trying to run for congress.
Frank Bartholomew
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Whether this was satire or not, he still said it, and in my opinion, was tasteless.Our troops swear to defend our nation, and our way of life, they do not question their orders.
JoAnne Rock
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Foreign policy is not my strong suit, so I'll refrain from making a specific comment. I found this forum and this format to be very informative and I look forward to the rest of the series of questions and answers from the candidates. Thank you Howard. This is a valuable service for voters.
Ed Gentner
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Howard, thank you, your publication is one of the few that has allowed for a free flow of ideas, opinions and candidate's positions. I was refering to the larger newspapers in the district. A good example was the coverage given to Ian Murphy being excluded from what was advertised and promoted as a candidates forum last week.
Brandon Burger
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Failing to address Ian Murphy's positions because they are somehow 'veiled in a shroud of hateful satire' is thoroughly disingenuous. Apart from the inflammatory, self-consciously recognized piece of provocation that began an article on a very contentious issue written three years-ago, where has Ian Murphy been so wrapped up with satire or so ensconced in an armor of humor that it has been impossible to even begin a discussion? Murphy's response to Howard was clear and straightforward. Where was the difficulty in engaging with it? Even in light of the entirety of the inflammatory article, where was the difficulty? Perhaps the difficulty is that nobody wants to talk about our almost blind exaltation of 'The Troops.' People want to ignore the once strong, long-held suspicion Americans harbored toward standing armies and professional soldiers. Nobody wants to to think about how our blind veneration for "The Troops" began around the time of the First Gulf War, when the Soviet Union was crumbling and ceasing to provide us with a reason for our gargantuan Defense Budget. And certainly, nobody wants to see how that martial worship clouds our ability to go after Defense spending in these tight economic times. Indeed, we actually increased Defense spending while reducing State Dept. funding; we essentially are expanding our military mission to the world and shrinking back our civilian mission. Unfortunately, none of this is apparently worth talking about because of "Fuck the Troops." If Ian Murphy is using humor as fallout shelter, those who would dismiss him are using self-righteous indignation as a diversion.
George Richardson
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"George: it's "tout de suite" ; French for "at once"." Thanks Dave, but I did a little YouTube research and now I have a new career path as a salesman for a must have product. http://youtu.be/hxznXwGEBqw I'm going to get on it tout de suite.
Ian Murphy
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Well, this is still going on over here... @Daniel All the facts I mentioned are facts. If you can't find the source material, tell me what fact you have a problem with, and I'll re-find it for you. But I assure you, nothing I mentioned was incorrect. @Everyone I stand by "Fuck the Troops". I hide behind nothing, for it was both a satirical provocation AND a serious essay. The former is obvious in the language I chose. The later is obvious if you read the whole piece. And, unfortunately, the former is the reason we're even discussing the later. If I'd written -- in the most bland language possible -- an article called "Unquestioning support for the troops bothers me a great deal and here's why" no one would have read it. If you want me to apologize for using the word "fuck," you can go fuck yourself. This is America! I can say whatever the fuck I want. I was at the Newark, NJ airport recently and I saw a sign which illustrates my point. It read that while the rest of us poor saps had to wait in line, service members were free to cut ahead of us. This is disturbing to me. I'd rather live in a country where that sign reads that the elderly and infirm can cut in line. Just saying. Look, when I wrote that article I made a conscious decision to disregard all the empathy I have for those poor fucking kids that were tricked into "serving their country" with a bunch of lies. And I still have a hard time respecting anyone who got steamrolled by Bush/Cheney propaganda. I don't know, people. If you can't tell the difference between a criminal administration which actually DID fuck the troops with lies and shitty care when they got back, and a dude who's got the balls to call bullshit on "supporting" the troops with empty slogans,well, vote for Corwin. She's your idiot. I mean, read her responses above. She basically says nothing--except that she's totally cool with you or your children dying in some fucked up war that never should have happened. And let's stop pretending that all the troops are goddamn saints. I mean, after Abu Ghraib (and similar reports about Afghanistan), the Haditha Massacre, rape of female soldiers, and now the revelation of our "Kill Team" in Afghanistan (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-kill-team-20110327)...I have a hard time supporting those kinds of behaviors. A point I should've made crystal in that article was that the general population was being tricked into supporting an illegal and immoral war by simply supporting the troops. It's a meaningless slogan, which I felt like raging against. Do I feel bad that our government tricked people into service and then treated them like shit? Bad is not good enough. It makes me truly fucking angry. If elected to Congress, would I support the troops by bringing them home and funding care for our vets? You better fucking believe it! Sincerely, Ian Murphy
Dave Olsen
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George, thanks, i love a good fart joke. "I begged him to stay away from the Baba ganoush" hahahaha To all you Ian bashers: Serious enough for you?
George Richardson
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Ian, thanks a lot soul brother. I always feel guilty about using fuck even though it is my all time favorite word in any language anywhere in the world. And when I die, FUCK! And Dave, if you see my brother Joe tell him I said fuck and tell his very intelligent clan of boys to vote for Ian Murphy NY-26.
George Richardson
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Frontrunner Mittcare Romney? Maybe we should take a poll. http://youtu.be/uFUW6htvUss
Jeremiah Pedro
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@ Ian I was a recruiter for the Marine Corps here in Batavia, Ny from 2006 until 2009. Essentially you are calling me a liar. I take offense to that accusation. I could care less about your language in your so called satire. It is obvious now after your response that the essay was not originally meant to be a satirical piece. You now seem to be throwing that out there in order to save a little face. You completely ignored my earlier comment. I looked the facts up myself. We spend more on education as a country than we do on defense spending. The second part of the comment was kind of a question/invitation. The fact remains that the majority of veterans receiving care from the VA are from generations and wars gone by. Such as WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Those wars were fed in large part by the draft. So again my question is this: If elected how would you go about ensuring the federal government held up their end of the bargain? The troops did their part. You don't like the troops fine no one is asking you to go out of your way to do things for them. You want to be a member of congress right? Well part of your job will be to represent the interests of your constituents who happen to be either active or reserve members of the US armed forces or veterans as well as their families. The district which you hope to represent has a large number of veterans living in it. If you intend to write off that portion of your prospective congressional district then you might as well drop out of the race now. Because in my opinion you would not be qualified if you intended to not fully represent the interests of all your constituents.
Jeremiah Pedro
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"If you want me to apologize for using the word "fuck," you can go fuck yourself. This is America! I can say whatever the fuck I want." If I had posted something like that Howard you would have deleted the comment. I know Howard he didn't direct it at one individual so you can't consider it a personal attack. He directed it at a lot of your readers though.
Ed Gentner
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Again Mr. Pedro the larger point is lost, obscured by a single word. Murphy echos the sentiments of those who didn't buy the lies that led to the loss of what 6,000 combined American troops lost between Iraq and Afghanistan and the tens of thousands of American troops left scarred and broken because both Republican and Democratic members of both houses of congress rolled over like lap dogs to the Bush/Cheney lie machine. That doesn't include the troops from the NATO countries losses or the estimated 300,000 to as many as 1,000,000 mostly civilian Iraqis killed and many times that number left with life long injuries. Murphy is not alone in his opposition sir, not by a long shot. The opposistion comes from all sides from Ron Paul to Dennis Kucinich. Jack Davis has been opposed to this decade long homicidal escapade facilitated by Republicans and Democrats alike and has spent time and money running for an office where he can make a difference, where he can speak out in a forum as our elected representitive.
George Richardson
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Jer, you are not running for public office. Let the cards fall where they may. But I will say loud and clear to anyone who cares that war is a sickeningly horrible nasty game perpetrated and manipulated by war profiteers and tyrants. The draft ended the year I would have been called and I'm glad that I didn't have to flee to Canada and that I am still alive. I won't die for profit and I don't believe in the principle or the need for a big bad military force. Rodney King made more sense. Other than that, we're cool. Vote for Ian Murphy.
Ian Murphy
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@Jeremiah Essentially you are calling me a giraffe. And I take no offense to that because giraffes are awesome. I would call you a liar now, but I'll presume you are just woefully misinformed. The DoE budget in 2009 was $59,210,061. That's $59 million. (http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget09/summary/appendix1.pdf) To put that in perspective, one F-22 Raptor costs $150 million. ONE plane! And the DoD budgeted $65 billion (yes, with a B) to build these things. As it turned out, the F-22 is a barely-flying hunk of junk an they scrapped the whole project. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_F-22_Raptor) That is all. Ian
John Roach
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Edmund, You seem to have missed the point. You can be against the wars for any reason you want. But are you defending Murphy's "F" the troops? Are you defending his making fun of their injuries? The wars and respect for the troops are two separate things. That's the rub with Murphy. It's not his stand on the wars or the policy on use of the military I object to. It's his total lack of respect for the individual who joins up. Note, Davis was in the military, and Murphy says "him".
bud prevost
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Ian- that total was in thousands of dollars. So add 3 zeros to the end of that total. The federal government spent more than 59 BILLION dollars, and what about what each state spends, and local districts? Maybe I'm shallow minded, but if you don't even know what the figures you are using say, why would I think you know anything about anything else? ( Though the prank on Walker was gold). it is becoming increasingly more difficult to take you seriously, but I think that's exactly what you want. Sir, i think you'd shit yourself if you were actually elected. JMHO. God bless our nation.
Dave Olsen
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How about everyone stops using the term troops? They are American men and women, which I believe is part of Ian's point. BTW I thought name calling was not condoned on this site.
Frank Bartholomew
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Mr.Murphy, maybe you should visit some of the VA Hospitals, and then you can get an idea of what these brave men and women have been through to protect our freedoms. I agree 100% that Iraq was wrong, but leaving Afghanistan as a training ground for terrorists most certainly would have cost many more lives on American soil. And if I'm standing in line somewhere, I would insist that a member of our armed forces move ahead of me. Who do you know that would put their ass on the line for you, and do so in a heartbeat?
George Richardson
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John, I'm just like you and the Teabuggers call me "it", in Austin. Do I give a fuck? No, because I know it will all change when Ian Murphy goes to Congress and Kicks Jimmy Stewart's Ass. He's called crybaby Boehner these days. And I hope he pokes Michelle Bachmann in the eye, accidentally, but not on purpose.
George Richardson
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Bud, have you looked closely at what you helped elect in recent years? They are living in a video game, much like the original Nintendo. Now that was a piece of crap worthy of this current space and time comparison. I'm looking for an updated version of real representation of the people and Ian Murphy wins by default, worts and all, IMHO (I hate that shit except for STFU.)
George Richardson
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"BTW I thought name calling was not condoned on this site." Dave, there is not a lot of joy in my life anymore. Don't deny me or my good buddies whatever tiny thrill ragging on someone else provides. We're old and grouchy and we like it that way. Vote for Ian Murphy, he's no worse than the best of the rest and probably better. I support this message.
Ian Murphy
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@BUD! Good catch, old chap! Fine work. Good show. Etc. I screwed that up. You are correct, the figure was in thousands of dollar. (I thought that seemed amazingly low.) So it's $59 billion the DoE spent in 2009. That's still less than the $65 billion for the F-22 Raptor alone. And it's very little compared to the roughly $700 billion spent on "defense" in '09. Still, thank you, Bud. Gold star. Frank, Occupying Afghanistan for nearly a decade now has created terrorists. I will reiterate the point I made in my answer: The only thing that'll lessen that chance of a terror haven in Afghanistan is a free and prosperous Afghanistan. And, Frank, I hate to be a pedant but no American soldier in my lifetime has protected my freedoms. I know a few soldiers and they're all really good dudes, but the freedoms I enjoy as a citizen come from our Constitution. A half a million dead Iraqis has made me no more free. Sorry.
Justin Burger
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"Who do you know that would put their ass on the line for you, and do so in a heartbeat?" Cops. Firefighters.
Frank Bartholomew
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Mr. Murphy, can you comprehend what I posted, I was not talking about Iraq, but just like a politician, you try and spin what I said.I,m sorry, but we already have enough comedians in Washington, Justin, can you speak German or Japanese? if not for our "troops" that could have been a real possibility. Every man and women in the US armed forces put their ass on the line when ordered to do so, thats who I know.
Frank Bartholomew
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Mr. Murphy, who the hell do you think guarantees the freedoms you enjoy?
Ian Murphy
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Mr. Bartholomew, I do. That's why I lobbied Congress (with a bunch of other folks) in the summer of '07 to repeal the Military Commissions Act. The CMA stripped the right of habeas corpus from those detained as "terrorists." The actual piece of legislation makes no mention of citizenship, which is to say that Americans could be held indefinitely, judged by a Military tribunal, or not judged at all. The freedom--the right to a fair trail is something that our Constitution guarantees. But the Constitution is just a piece of paper, so when our liberties are truly threatened, we have to fight for them. So, again, I guarantee my freedoms. Now, if there were ever a time in my lifetime when a foreign entity threatened my freedom, I'd fight along side my countrymen and women. But the greatest enemies we've had of late are domestic. So now you know. And knowing's half the battle.
Justin Burger
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Frank, you only asked who else would put their ass on the line for you, I responded with a very valid answer...Cops and Firefighters. Surely they are just as worthy as any soldier in receiving our support, praise and accolades. Perhaps the next time you are standing in line, you should let that first responder ahead of you.
Frank Bartholomew
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Justin, good point, I do hold firefighters and emt's equal to members of our armed forces. Mr.Murphy, do you know of any natural born American Citizens being held indefinately?
Ian Murphy
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Frank, José Padilla was held for years without charge -- in direct violation of his Constitutional right of habeas corpus -- as an "enemy combatant" before receiving a trial. Regardless of the man's innocence or guilt (sentenced to 17 years), if one U.S. citizen's rights are stripped, all of our rights are stripped.
Frank Bartholomew
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Ian, maybe I'm old school, but I would prefer to error on the side of caution when it comes to terrorists. Anyway, most prisons are filled with innocent men and women, just ask them. lol
Frank Bartholomew
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Ian, If you want to see a real mockery of justice, visit a New York State Family courtroom. These courts are untouchable, specifically when dealing with juvenile cases.No media are allowed, the prosecutors can make shit up as they go along, and if the original petitioner decides not to pursue, low and behold, the prosecution can continue to pursue the case. And the real kick in the ass is the fact there doesn't seem to be a watchdog agency willing to look into this court.Here are some examples: State Attorney General, United States Attorney General's office, Judgewatch.org, they all give the same lame answers, we have no control over individual courts concerning juvenile cases. You can't even use FOIL to obtain pertenant records from the county, as they have built in protection as well. You can't get transcripts from the court if the judge seals the records, its a bunch of BS. And you think the laws regarding domestic terrorism are ill conceived, I'd say we have bigger fish to fry. Just wondering, was Jose Padilla a natural born US Citizen?
Justin Burger
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Padilla was born in Brooklyn, NY. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Padilla_%28prisoner%29
Daniel Jones
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Ian - You said that your freedoms come from the constitution, but a constiution is meaningless if it is not defended in the courts and through our national defense. Under your logic, no soldier has ever stood up for anyone's freedoms, infact, neither has any individual person. A document protects you at all times. Naivete, you have your namesake. It's a shame too, because I agree with some of what you are saying in regards to environmental and alternative energy policy but it gets lost in the snark. It's too bad that you choose to conduct yourself in a manner that is denegrating to other people.
Daniel Jones
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Brandon - Just because something was 'long standing' doesn't make it right. We in this country have had 'long standing' held suspcians towards many groups, professional and otherwise (racial, ethnic). It is a good thing when those suspicians come to end. People should not be ostracized or held in contempt because of their professions. I will not generalize anyone on this site, but my experience has generally been that people who criticize soldiers harbor some deep feeling of jealousy towards them. America's recognition and gratitude towards the troops in recent years angers them because they feel that their own accomplishments are not adequetley recognized. They then lash out at the troops for 'taking' the attention that they feel was rightfully theirs. (Edited for grammer at 4:44pm on 4/15)
Ian Murphy
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Daniel, I don't feel like debating semantics. I clearly don't feel like my rights come from a piece of paper--they are simply written there, and to be defended by all citizens. Show me, please, an example of "our national defense" protecting those rights. Please. I wasn't trying to be snarky, truly. I just have a different opinion about what actions will actually make America as safe as possible. And while it's every soldier's & citizen's right to believe that engaging in endless war is good for national security, it is demonstrably the best way to create enemies around the world. Sorry if that comes off as snarky. It's just true. Frank, I agree that many parts of our legal/penal system are deeply corrupt. We have a for-profit incarceration system. A greater % of our people are in jail than any other country in the world. More than China. I'd say that's a decent sized and very smelly fish. Erring on the side of caution in regards to terrorism is still an error. Should we make every attempt to end terrorism? Of course. Does subverting our Constitution and torturing detainees make us more safe? No way.
John Roach
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Ian, While I understand your main point, "More than China"? I am not sure we even really know how many are in prison or camps. We don't even know for sure how many are executed regularly.
Ian Murphy
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John, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/us/23prison.html "The United States has, for instance, 2.3 million criminals behind bars, more than any other nation, according to data maintained by the International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College London. China, which is four times more populous than the United States, is a distant second, with 1.6 million people in prison. (That number excludes hundreds of thousands of people held in administrative detention, most of them in China’s extrajudicial system of re-education through labor, which often singles out political activists who have not committed crimes.)" So, yes, the Chinese don't accurately report every detention, but we're still way in the lead.
Jeremiah Pedro
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Ian, You've been nothing but snarky and condescending throughout the course of this discussion. You feel as though you are more intelligent than most of the posters on this forum. This campaign for the 26th district is a job interview Mr. Murphy. You are doing poorly in your job interview. signed: Your prospective employer, the US tax payer.
John Roach
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Jeremiah, He can afford to be as snarky as he wants, he has no chance of winning. But he is getting more name recognition for himself which can't hurt his other enterprises. Smart move on his part.
Frank Bartholomew
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Mr.Murphy, how many inmates have gotten new trials since dna technology has been introduced? What it means is simple, regardless of how great, and how governed a system may be, there's always a chance it may be wrong. Do you know of a better system? And in my opinion, torture is part of war,at least the heads are still with the body when they are released. More than can be said of journalists who were taken prisoner in middle eastern countries.
John Roach
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In NYS, inmates are given access to Law Library's as good as in any law office to help appeal their cases, access to the Legal Aid Society (paid for by taxpayers), the right to have disciplinary hearings taped recorded and to call witnesses on their behalf, access to daily sick call where a they can see a nurse, dental care better than you get, name brand drugs and in some facilities they get to spend a few nights with their wives every 6 months. Not bad Ian.
Dave Olsen
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Posted by Jeremiah Pedro on April 17, 2011 - 4:25pm Ian, You've been nothing but snarky and condescending throughout the course of this discussion. You feel as though you are more intelligent than most of the posters on this forum. This campaign for the 26th district is a job interview Mr. Murphy. You are doing poorly in your job interview. signed: Your prospective employer, the US tax payer. I disagree, Jeremiah, I think he's doing quite well. The other 3 candidates obviously have no intention of discussing issues with the common folk except in a controlled atmosphere.
Frank Bartholomew
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Dave, I have to agree, at least Mr. Murphy isn't doing lip service for the party line. Personally, I tend to lean towards abstract thinkers, or maybe I'm sick of the same old tired flavors offered up at election time.
Bea McManis
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Posted by Dave Olsen on April 17, 2011 - 7:50pm The other 3 candidates obviously have no intention of discussing issues with the common folk except in a controlled atmosphere. I don't know about Davis and Corwin, but Kathy isn't shying away from the 'common folk'. Kathy is stopping at local restaurants, retail stores etc. unannounced. You can't pick and chose who walks into a bakery, a restaurant, or a retail store. As a matter of fact, when she visited Scratch Bakery in LeRoy, Lori was having breakfast across the street and didn't know she was there until Mary Margaret posted the picture. As Erie County Clerk, Kathy sees and talks to the common folk every day. She doesn't need a controlled atmosphere.
John Roach
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Bea, I believe Dave means, and he's right, interacting with people on sites like this one. Murphy's the only one of the four doing that.
Bea McManis
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Even coming to this site, which is a boon to voters and candidates alike, isn't the same as a face to face opportunity to discuss issues. I'm hoping there will be many opportunities for people to visit one on one with all the candidates in the next few weeks.
Dave Olsen
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Right, so Bea, if some curmudgeon decided to ask questions she didn't like, a handler wouldn't step up and say, "OK, sorry we have to move on now"? I find that tough to imagine, but granted, I'm just guessing. On here, the candidate has to read the whole ranting comment. I'm not saying she should be on here, just pointing out she isn't.
Daniel Jones
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Joined: May 2 2008
Member
Dave - That doesn't happen with Kathy. I've seen it with some politicians but not her. Yes there are time constraints for a candidate, often they'll do 5-10 events in the same day and it's important for them to meet people throughout the entire district. Consequently, they can't stay too long in one place, but when Kathy shows up she listens and she doesn't back down from tough questions. I cannot speak for the other candidates as I have not seen them campaign up close.
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