Today’s column is a grab bag of questions which, for some strange reason, I can never seem to get a straight answer to:

If you think President Obama’s “weakness” in Syria is what led to Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea, what do you think we should have done in Syria? Should we have bombed them for using chemical weapons even after they agreed to give up their chemical weapons stockpiles and production facilities? If so, do you also think police officers should be ordered to shoot criminals who’ve thrown down their weapons?

Do you think America should have intervened or should now intervene militarily in Syria? If so, which side should we come in on, the side backed by Hezbollah, or the one fighting alongside al-Qaida?

If you think our current response to the Russian annexation of Crimea is too weak, do you favor military intervention? If so, please locate Ukraine on a map and tell us where American troops should be based for such an intervention and where they’d be supplied from.

If you blame President Obama’s “weakness” for the Russian annexation of Crimea, do you also blame President George W. Bush for the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia? If not, why not?

If you think Obamacare needs to be repealed, are you also willing to repeal the popular parts of it, like the part protecting people with pre-existing conditions and the part allowing parents to insure their children to age 26? If not, how do you propose to keep the insurance system alive if everyone isn’t required to pay into it?

What do you propose to do with the millions of people already insured through the exchanges when the mandate goes away and insurance companies can go back to charging people exorbitant amounts or denying them insurance altogether if they have pre-existing conditions?

If you were one of the people who insisted in 2012 that the polls putting President Obama ahead of Mitt Romney were “skewed” and that Romney was going to win in a landslide, please tell us why we should believe you when you claim that the Obama administration is “cooking the books” on Affordable Care Act enrollment and that Obamacare is doomed to fail?

If you believe that a single-payer, taxpayer supported, medical insurance plan is “socialism” and that it will destroy America, do you plan to refuse a Medicare card when you become eligible or turn yours in if you have one now? If not, why not? If your reason is “I already paid into this,” isn’t that just an acknowledgement that it’s a taxpayer-funded system?

If you claim Obamacare is a “socialist takeover” of the American health care system, please explain how the terms “socialism” and “takeover” apply to a system of privately owned insurers paying privately employed doctors with support from privately paid premiums.

If you don’t think “enhanced interrogation” techniques such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation, being locked in small boxes and subjected to extended “stress positions” are not torture and therefore not legally actionable, would you say the same if those techniques were used by terrorist groups against American citizens?

Would you consider being strapped to a board, having a cloth put over your face, then having water poured on the cloth until you had the sensation of drowning to be torture if you had to undergo that yourself? If waterboarding isn’t torture, do we need to apologize and pay reparations to the families of the Japanese officers we prosecuted for war crimes for using similar techniques?

If you’re upset about government gathering of private data, were you as upset about it when the government’s ability to do so was greatly expanded by the Patriot Act? If not, why not? Do you support rolling back the Patriot Act? Do you think we should re-examine the principles set out in Smith vs. Maryland, the 1979 U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled that getting “metadata” about American citizens’ phone calls (i.e., information about who called who when and for how long) was not a “search,” since that information was not “private” at all? If not, why not, if you claim to be angry about government spying on us?

Normally, when I pose these sorts of questions to my fellow Americans, I get attempts to change the subject or angry denunciations of President Obama and/or “libs,” “leftists,” “statists” or “Obama-bots,” none of which have any connection to the question asked.

Can you do any better?

Dusty Rhoades lives, writes and practices law in Carthage. Contact him at dustyr@nc.rr.com.

(12) comments

Frank Staples

Hey Sunny, good to hear from you again. Have you thought about answering my question or are you happy with being considered a firearms illiterate dumbwad???

Mark Hayes

Only another fool would give credence to this mans thinking, his knowledge of the use of military interrogations and methods of extracting information from prisoners can only be from what he has read, he has never served in the military and for that we should be grateful.

Sally Larson

Francis, are you saying water boarding never happened? Not sure what you mean but these techniques were widely published, otherwise why do we all know so much about them without having been there? I'm not arguing with you, just wanted to know what you mean.

Mark Hayes

You do what you have to do, it's not a board game and people do perish, people act in ways that under normal conditions they would not otherwise take part in, that is why we should not take going to war so lightly, but it is usually those who do not or have ever participated in combat conditions seem eager to offer up our youth to satisfy their lust for having the power to do so, and then condemn them for not playing by the rules. I hope that clears that up for you, there is nothing to argue about, it's just how things really are.

Sally Larson

Thank you Francis, very well said.

Sally Larson

I think Dusty's column points to the complete and total chaos of our government and there's no absolute Republican or Democrat / right or wrong platform that can make things any clearer. Our parties are trying so hard to keep us penned up into our own little stock yards, holding on to us with fierce accusations and finger pointing hoping we don't see the benefits of bipartisan discussions. We've forgotten how to work together to solve problems because that would require admission of failures on both sides. We are like a bunch of children in the sand box yelling at each other that their their Dad is bigger and stronger than everyone else's Dad, "so there!"

Keith Miller

Mr Fugitiveguy... to Mr Sunflower, his comment has meaning, to him !!...So let's give Mr Sunflower one more chance to contribute something meaningful to the conversation.

Mr Sunflower, you have had several weeks now to come up with an answer to the question of...what lies bush told...would you like to answer now ???

Here's your chance to bloom !!! And please don't use your response of ...

wa wa wa boo hoo hoo cry babies !!! I think you are more intelligent than that response, so don't prove me wrong !!!

Tom Hill

Great way for the columnist to try to deflect attention from just a few of the many, crazy bad failures of this administration by using directed questions which deflect attention from the key failures of each, then piling them all on top of each other so that no one in their right mind will bother to try to tackle any of them. But hey, he's a lawyer after all.

Simple answer. If you truly read up on and objectively study each issue brought up you will find the answer to each. And quite possibly become a Libertarian too.

Ce Foote

I see the two rocket scientists have checked in with their worthless comments. wa wa wa boo hoo hoo cry babies!

I wonder if DR wishes he had a cheerleader with something meaningful to say once in a while.

Keith Miller

Mr Rhoades...wow, sure is a lot of questions !!

Before we can start a conversation, can I assume that you think your king handled each situation to the 12 questions / paragraphs correctly ??

I actually read the article in its entirety. This guy sure asks a lot of questions with the angle of defending his king and deity. To the majority of those questions I would just answer I don't know. I am glad I don't have the responsibility although I think I am just about as qualified to run the show as the president. I have seen recipes longer than his resume. But I digest so therefore I must go now.

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