Absolutely! That is an example of why I avoid referring to "outside" sources because then the argument can become infantile (as in what happened to you) or becomes an argument over the trustworthiness of the source - which is valid - but then that usually gives way to a "footnote pissing match" where people point to this source, and some counters with another source, and then another, etc, and then you suddenly find yourself debating something else entirely.<quoted text>
Sorry, had to edit your response, that pesky character limit again... Given the reasoning you have stated, I can totally understand your point of view about Time Magazine as a source. I cherry picked the article based upon the explanations given by military personnel. Other than to have both parents (WWII) and four uncles (WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam) who served in the military (two lifers), it is an area in which I have no expertise.
The points made in the article made sense to an individual like me -it did not advocate the elimination of defense spending so much as redirection; e.g. reduction in the number of multibillion dollar aircraft carriers/submarines and increasing the number of unmanned drones. The cost difference between them is incredible... including obvious personnel differences.
The conversation at the time had to do with the national debt. The other individual was focused on the stimulus dollars. He cherry picked $800,000 used to teach Africans to wash their genitals and then made a crude reference... I did a little research and discovered that the $800,000 was part of a $12M grant AIDS grant to UCLA. When I challenged him, including pointing out pending legislation in CA that would make circumscision of children illegal, he walked away from the discussion.
Does that help explain my frustration/confusion?
Also, I wasn't trying to deny your frustration, I was merely attempting to show you why some folks like myself may tend to ignore "outside" references, especially to sources that tend toward one political viewpoint or another.
I believe that most debates can be kept at a high theoretical level, as that is the true source of people's differences. It drives their vision of what they think society should look like and what various components of that society should be doing.